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Brooch

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1996 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mina, Jacqueline (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    The woven platinum gauze is industrially produced. The granules are of 24 carat gold, the pins and fastenings of 18 carat gold.

  • Credit Line:

    Presented by Katherine Purcell through Art Fund

  • Museum number:

    M.19-2013

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 38, shelf B, box 3

This brooch is a further exploration by Jacqueline Mina, one of Britain's leading goldsmiths, of the possibilities of combining gold with platinum. In this instance she has taken a rectangle of platinum mesh, to which she has fused fine gold granules. First, she drew out threads from the edges of the mesh, then she melted the wires which formed the fringes so that they became balls which she hammered flat to form a border of spangles. Next she pleated the gauze with flat pliers, and at each point where the pleated lines met, she fused on a fine-gold granule.

For a necklace by Jacqueline Mina of platinum filigree with gold detailing commissioned in 1986, see. M.1-1987, and for a brooch in which gold is fused onto platinum, see M.220-2007.

Jacqueline Mina (born 1942) won the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts - Jewellery in 2000 and was awarded the O.B.E. in 2011. She had a solo exhibition at the V&A in 1986 and a retrospective exhibiton at Goldsmiths' Hall, London, in 2011.

Physical description

A rectangular fragment of platinum gauze. Across its surface are irregular ridges or pleats in the mesh punctuated with gold granules, while the edge is decorated with tiny flattened, reflective spangles of platinum.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1996 (made)

Artist/maker

Mina, Jacqueline (maker)

Materials and Techniques

The woven platinum gauze is industrially produced. The granules are of 24 carat gold, the pins and fastenings of 18 carat gold.

Marks and inscriptions

unmarked - special dispensation from the London Assay Office

Dimensions

Height: 55 mm, Width: 35 mm

Object history note

Jacqueline Mina is celebrated for a number of highly original projects using platinum. She described the technique used in the making of this brooch in a note she wrote for the National Museums of Scotland in 1996. She explained that Ayrton Metals, which had supported her work, and was instrumental in her obtaining a commission from the V&A for a platinum filigree necklace in 1986, helped her to obtain offcuts of finely woven platinum gauze which was made for use in the chemicals industry. After using the gauze on a gold backing for some years, she decided to explore other ways of working with it.

This brooch (M.19-2013) is one of twelve pieces which Jacqueline Mina made after she had returned from teaching a workshop on granulation design at the Fachhochschule in Düsseldorf at the end of 1995:

'For five days the students experimented freely on paper but were allowed only one kind of mark:- dots.

I worked alongside them, to encourage a variety of interpretations & on my return from Germany I found I had the germ of an idea for my own work. I thought I would try it on just one piece, but then I made another & another...until I had used up all my remaining platinum gauze, & realised I had a body of new work (12 pieces in all).

Two kinds of work emerged, related more by scale, material & technique than by concept:- quasi-rectilinears pieces & "felted" pieces'.'

The V&A's brooch is an example of the first kind:

'I began by taking a regular rectangle of platinum gauze & drawing out threads from all four edges so that fringes, 5mm. long, bordered the remaining woven part. I then melted the wires of the fringes so that they retracted into tiny balls (granules) to the extent of their length. Hammering them flat created a border of tiny 'spangles'. Next I puckered & pleated (by folding & squeezing with flat pliers) certain areas of the platinum gauze in a random arrangement. This had the effect of rendering the material slightly 3-dimensional while at the same time distorting the outline in a way that could not be predetermined, but which I liked because it happened naturally as a result of the puckering. At each point where the pleated lines met, I fused on a fine-gold granule, which, as well as adding eye-catching detail had the effect of strengthening the structure slightly.'

The brooch was first exhibited at Contemporary Applied Arts, 2 Percy Street, London W1T 1DD in a group exhibition entitled 'Jewellery - Assembled Pieces', 3 May to 8 June 1996. A corner of the brooch was illustrated on the exhibition card.

The brooch was exhibited in the retrospective of Jacqueline Mina's work held at Goldsmiths' Hall in 2011, at which it was acquired by the donor, Katherine Purcell, an authority on French nineteenth-century French jewellery, for whom the subtlety of the textile effect struck a chord with the diamond-set lace jewels made about 1880 by the Paris jeweller Oscar Massin.

Descriptive line

Brooch of platinum gauze with gold granules, by Jacqueline Mina, 1996

Materials

Platinum; Gold

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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