Artisan has initiated and developed an exhibition entitled: ‘tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor’ – ‘100 years, 100 women, 100 brooches’. Kirsten Fitzpatrick & Dr Dorothy Erickson are selecting 100 women’s stories, with a view to a spread of occupations, excellence of achievement and ‘firsts’. Each participating jeweller has been invited to make a brooch inspired by one of the stories. Barbara chose to make her (Blackman River Peg) in response to the coppiced pegs in our own collection made originally by Ma Brown and found under the floor boards of our shop and residence in Tunbridge, Tasmania. The show opens at Artisan 29 September 2011 runs to the 12 November then tours to a further eight regional galleries ending up in Tamworth Regional Gallery 7 October 2013. The larger .pdf is here. © Bh Lace Brooch in 925 Silver with oxidised band and nail. Stainless steel hand made brooch back.

Here is Barbara’s concept statement:  Ma Brown lived, supported her family and survived by her skills in the rural midlands of Tasmania in the 1920–40’s. Using found tin and coppiced willow from the banks of the Blackman River she made clothes pegs and sold them to the local store. Almost a hundred years later we purchased that old store and began a long task of repair and restoration. Under the floorboards we found a stash of Ma Brown’s pegs, carried there by rats along with other unlikely loot. Such discoveries evoke histories and enable linkages that tie us even deeper to this place. We walk beside the Blackman River and the same willows today thinking of this ordinary woman, a survivor whose memory lingers here.

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