Julie Blyfield - Life and loss
Life and loss
Sterling silver, bi-metal 22ct/sterling silver.
Hand chased and chisel engraved.
105 x 135 x 10 mm
I made this brooch in remembrance of my partner - Chris whom I lived with for nearly 40 years. Chris was a colourful character, he loved life, his work, people and our lush garden, which we developed together over a period of 28 years living in Maylands, South Australia. In making the brooch, four different plants/ leaves were selected as symbol of Chris’s connection to our garden - the Gingko which I planted on his 60th birthday 5 years ago; the tomato bush we planted last year, but sadly, Chris passed away before he could eat the fruit . Life continues though, and as I write, there’s a second flush of tomatoes coming into fruit.
The Caper Bush was Chris’s pride and joy in the garden, regularly pickling capers and gifting them to our friends. The fourth plant I chose was the violet flower which was the first bunch of flowers Chris gave to me when he was young and trying to impress! which I made in gold to illuminate this connection.
Traditionally, mourning is celebrated with jewellery made from either bog oak, oxidised blackened silver or cut steel with a lock of hair inserted into the back of a ring or brooch. I chose to leave my brooch light and bright to reflect Chris’s outgoing personality and his inner love of life.
Making has given me solace and peace whilst living in a period of darkness and grief. Nestled in my garden studio has provided a sense of quietness, calm and purpose again, for which I am so grateful. Chris was so supportive of my work, I know he would be proud that I continue to proceed forward as he would want me to do. This brooch is made with love and dedication. - Julie Blyfield