Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lea Stein, Compressed Plastic & Dogs


My last blog post, where I shared my love of playing with laminated resins and plastics as a kid, inspired me to pull out my collection of Lea Stein brooches today and share them with you. It’s a tiny collection; but it makes me happy. I first started collecting Ric the Terrier while living in New York City in the early 90s. (My grandpa had Airedales so I have a real soft spot for them in any form.) I broke my “Ric the Terrier-only” rule when I came across the Cairn Terrier-looking brooch. I am pretty sure it is called “Kimdoo” – I am thinking that the shorter muzzle and not-so-brick-like head might make it a Cairn; but it could be a Scottie or Westie. All I know is I loved it, so home it came with me! 

From what I understand, Lea Stein made her stylized compressed plastic buttons, bracelets and brooches during two different periods – with the first being made between 1961 and 1981 and the second period started in 1991 and, to the best of my knowledge, is still going on. Mine all have the distinctive v-shaped clasp that is riveted to the back of the main piece which experts say signifies that these were made after 1991. Brooches with non-riveted clasps were made from 1961 to 1981. I do love that she takes the same shape and makes different looks with a variety of materials overlaying one of top of the other  – I think that is what fascinates me the most. Simple shapes and materials coming together to give life to an inanimate object. Art really – in a wearable form.

P.S. Curious – do you think of your jewelry as artwork or is it just another accessory? I know, I kind of “tipped the jury” with my wording on that question! Clearly, I think of all my jewelry as artwork, no matter how simple or complex the piece is; but I do wonder how others see it. So…I ask. You can see lots more of her designs by googling Lea Stein. (Totally non-related but I still chuckle thinking that google has become a popular verb around the world!)