Friday, June 5, 2015

Clothing Accessories - Brooches and Pins

Pins.  This post is all about pins.  I had seen some vendors at recent events who were selling annular brooches.  They are very small and sometime decorated pins used to hold clothing together or simply add bling to an outfit.

Found an interesting pin in the book " Dress Accessories, c. 1150- c. 1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London)". I made a few types of pins and brooches on the cheap.  They are easy to make with some brass wire and metal washers. 
Here are some images from my book (which I LOVE).

Here's an extant 13th century artifact which inspired the design of one of the pins.

Ring Brooch
Date: 13th century
Culture: Western European
Medium: Copper alloy
Dimensions: Overall Diameter: 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Classification: Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1957
Accession Number: 57.26.6

Here is the workshop required.  Pliers, files, drill, small anvil, hammer, wire, washers and safety pins.

For less than 30 cents you too can make an easy annular brooch.  This was made from a Home Depot washer and a safety pin.

I started by sketching an idea onto the face of the washer.


Then it is basically just a lot of file work.  I have a set of small pin files and simply filed away while I was watching a movie.

The design was organic and changed while I was working on it.  These washers are made from soft metal and the material files away VERY quickly.

Outside finished and cleaned up.  Note that the marker rubs off easily and had to be applied a few times.


I then took some round files and started removing material from the inside of the brooch.


I punched the location of the hole and I then used a small hand held hobby drill to drill a hole in one side of the brooch.   


I took a steel safety pin and cut the pin portion off.  

With needle nosed pliers it was easy to bend it to shape and finish the pin off.


Brooch number 2. Same construction technique, different style.  This time I used a small punch to add decorative dots around the edge.  Just enough to catch some light.


I made two versions of this pin that I found in my lovely book.  I intend to use the larger as a cloak clasp. Attach the pin to one side and use the hook to close the cloak.  It was constructed from brass wire which was cold worked and hammed into shape.



The collection


The following piece was quite a bit larger.  It was made from copper wire sold at Menards as grounding wire.  It is a littler more than 3/16th inches thick.

I found this image of an extant artifact made of copper from the 13th century on the site: 

I printed a scale image of the pin and then fashioned my own by cold working the copper wire.  I used brass for the pin rather than copper as was done in the extant version.

Here it is pinned through one of my cloaks.  The wool of the cloak is very loose weave and very forgiving.  Even a large pin of this size can be removed without leaving a mark.  The finished pin is about 2.5 inches wide.