Lauren Swift

Steampunk Dreamcatcher Carnival

Medium/Materials: Silver, brass, copper, steel, paper, glass

Dimensions:  3.875 x 3.875 x .5 inches

Photographer: Lauren Sanazzaro Swift

Artist Statement: 

My art is about creating beautiful things with love. Many of my jewelry designs are inspired by materials themselves, and because of that, I was so excited to be a part of this contest! When it comes to my creation process, I enjoy paying attention to every detail on every piece and making it as perfect as possible. I view every piece as a whole, like a miniature wearable sculpture, by creating the front and the back consecutively. This gives the wearer the benefit of knowing that the back is as well designed as the front.

Balance is a key element that I incorporate within my designs. "Steampunk Dreamcatcher Carnival" plays on that balance by using my main style of making the piece symmetrical, but this piece also incorporates slight asymmetry as well.

Inspiration for this design initially came from the brass pinwheel piece and from the materials themselves. Since it was meant to be kinetic, it was obvious to me to create a pinwheel effect and design the rest from there. Typically I sketch my jewelry designs to be as complete as possible to give me the best visual reference I can have while making it. "Steampunk Dreamcatcher Carnival" is special to me because although I did sketch it out, there were definitely design elements that were spontaneously added while I was making it, such as the multiple metal layers for the “pinwheel posts”.

For my found object, I was initially thinking of using a stone or a button, but nothing felt or looked quite right. I find myself drawn to unusual things and the only thing that seemed to fit, was the piece itself. So I decided to put a picture of the brooch inside the brooch, and it matched perfectly.

I decided to use double tie tacs instead of the classic brooch pin to attach it to clothes. The tie tacs cause the piece to be slightly raised when it's worn to allow greater movement. They also allow the piece to be worn on thicker material, such as a jacket or heavy sweater.

For this brooch, we were given 50 pieces of various metals in various forms and after carefully designing, altering, and connecting the materials, the final brooch was made of 123 pieces. I built it in layers to show the different metal colors in the best combination possible. The use of silver, copper and brass, along with design elements, like rivets, give the piece a steampunk feel - fun, flowing and kinetic!