Object: Pebble brooch
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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|
x 10mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 2002|
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.
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.
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.
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