What inspires Yvette Brown
Monday, June 10, 2013
A love of words, all things British and a creative instinct inspire Yvette Brown to create her quirky little bird brooches. By Kira Withers-Jones
What inspires me
All things British: birds, humour, manners. Words inspire me more than anything. The English language is fantastic; it moves and evolves daily. I read a lot, listen to Radio 4 and am also inspired by music. I'm particularly inspired by my joyful, eccentric, warm friend Becky Adams (www.beckyadams.co.uk), an artist who works in the space between text and textile.
I grew up in a family that didn't sit down in front of the television unless they had something to do with their hands. My father made exquisite miniature dolls' house furniture as a hobby, my mother knitted and my brother made Airfix models. I made anything I felt like out of anything available - shells, scraps of material, bits of wood... I spent a lot of my childhood staring out of the window and as a result birds are just part of my psyche. I know their shapes and habits in the same way as I know the shapesand habits of my friends. So the brooches I make are not 'actual' birds - they are more like a representation of the way I feel about birds.
I make my moulds out of birch plywood because it has a fine grain and a delicate texture. I cut the mould shapes on an electric jigsaw then use my father's fine files and rasps to refine them. The pieces of each mould fit together like a puzzle. Cast pewter will pick up every last aspect of its mould, so my brooches are imprinted with fine wood grain. My equipment is not exactly high-tech; I heat the pewter using an old metal soup ladle over a camping stove. I use a bit of wire coat hanger to coax the molten pewter into the mould.