Cathedral Blossom Brooches

These brooches are intentionally abstracted into multi-layered petals, inspired by bouquets in general, but also, by the story of Beata Giulia, an 18 year old orphan, who in the year 1320, sealed herself into a cell beneath a cathedral in Italy to spend the rest of her life in prayer. During the 30 years she survived, she accepted food only from the children and villagers who fed her through the cell window. It is said that she handed fresh flowers from every season to those who brought her food – and stories of how the flowers could have grown in that dark, sealed, space, led to her eventual beatification. Now, almost 700 years later, the skeleton of Giulia still lies in a glass coffin, clutching a bouquet of dried flowers in the Cathedral, near my home in Tuscany.

Process

These pieces are all fabricated, sawn out of sheet metal, hammered and soldered together, prior to enameling. Some are created using the champleve saw and solder technique, with added cloisonne wire. Others are simply formed and sifted or painted with layers of color.

What began as drawn cathedral windows with blossoms or leaves, eventually became just about the blossoms.

Living in Italy, I am profoundly inspired by the beauty of the many cathedrals, I see, as well as the stories that surround them.

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