For a while I have been thinking about reworking the Art-Brooches I made a few years ago but presenting them in a more modern way and calling them PINZ. They would be small wearable pieces of sculptural art, which I enjoy making, and it is a way to share my creativity with a wider audience, as people more readily buy jewellery and fashion accessories than a larger work of art or sculpture. I could almost create mini versions, to sell in gallery stores, where I have larger sculptural artworks on exhibition.
I think of ‘pin’ as the American term for ‘brooch’, however, the English Oxford Dictionary defines pin (in this sense) as a ‘small brooch or badge’, giving reference to a lapel pin. A pin sounds less old fashioned than a brooch and also means I can spell it with the ‘NZ’ ending, reinforcing that they are made in New Zealand. Back in November last year, when the idea came to me for making souvenir pins for tourists that were actually made in New Zealand, I was thinking of calling them ‘NZ-PINZ’ but have recently settled on ‘PINZ by Claire’. It is short and descriptive, encompassing the important facts: New Zealand made pins by me (not mass produced in a factory in China).
A clutch pin is easier for the wearer to fasten on clothing and only pierces with one hole, compared to the traditional bar pin brooch finding. Using the clutch pin fastening also means I can make them quite small and, due to the light weight of polymer clay, it is also possible to create pins of a larger size than the norm for a lapel type pin. This gives flexibility for creating various pin designs, especially as the design does not have to fit round hiding the bar pin finding.
I am aware that many people still prefer to wear a pendant rather than a pin/brooch, so I will include a free ‘PINZ Converter’ with each large pin sold. The pin can be fastened to the converter, which has a tube at the top to thread a chain or cord through, enabling it to be worn as a pendant. For the smaller pins, I am thinking of a surround mounting, in different colours, onto which the pin can be fastened and a chain or cord threaded through - these will be offered as an optional extra.
I am currently working on various designs and hope to have my first PINZ available for public reaction at the Labour Day Art & Craft Market at Mission Bay on Monday 27 October 2014. I will then seek suitable places through which to sell my PINZ, as well as trying online through www.felt.co.nz and possibly www.etsy.com.