Search our collections

Advanced Search

Object: Pebble brooch

This image is All rights reserved.

Title Pebble brooch
Production Freeman, Warwick (jeweller), 1997, Devonport
Medium summary Pebbles set in resin and sliced to form a thin cross-section, and then cut into a circle and backed with a steel mount.
Materials stone, resin, steel
Classification jewellery, brooches
Technique jewellery making
Dimensions Approximate: 47mm (Height) x 10mm (Width/Depth)
Credit line Purchased 2002
Registration number 2002-0016-3

Pebble Brooch was made by Warwick Freeman in 1997. It is created from rounded pebbles gathered from a beach at the end of the Truman Track on the West Coast. Using a section cut from a fabric roll cardboard tube as a mould, Freeman has set the pebbles in black resin. The brooch has then been cut out using a found circular magnet from a speaker unit as a template to determine its diameter.

Two versions
Initially Freeman released a version of Pebble Brooch with a circular jasper inset in the middle of the brooch, like an eye. This version was created for an exhibition called Insignia at Bowen Galleries in Wellington. Freeman later dropped the red insert in favour of a circle created solely from pebbles and resin.

Gathering nature
Pebble Brooch deals with the idea of gathering natural materials. Not only is this a widely practiced pass-time in New Zealand, but in the 1980s many jewellers went through a phase of using materials like päua (large New Zealand abalone with blue-green inner shell) shell gathered from beaches in their work. Pebble Brooch comments on this practice, but the technique of setting the pebbles in resin and then cutting them open distances his brooch from this earlier period by putting the idea of the natural into question. Pebble Brooch is an artificial version of a natural process called conglomeration, in which stones are formed from smaller stones. Conglomerates were cut open and used in decorative items by the Romans. Freeman's brooch makes reference to that past practice as well as to contemporary New Zealand jewellery, and also to anyone who has collected smooth, water-worn pebbles from the sea.

Related information

Results from DigitalNZ

Searching 25 million digital objects from over 140 content partners across New Zealand

More from Digital NZ

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.