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. 


My style

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. 


My designs

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.

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