Bronwen Gwillim “Fossil” Fibula Brooch


Bronwen Gwillim

“Fossil” Fibula Brooch

Recycled plastic & recycled silver

1 in stock


Bronwen Gwillim “Fossil” fibula brooch is stylish and contemporary, although it has a historic reference too. Bronwen’s irregular painted decoration gives it a look like a fossil. Its shape echoes much older forms of Anglo-Saxon jewellery. Above all however, it is a very striking piece.  It is also adaptable as it is reversible, one side is plain, one is patterned.

I make wearable, sculptural jewellery from recycled materials. Mimicking the effects of the sea, I work their surfaces till they feel natural in the hand, like a treasured pebble.

Bronwen’s concern about the wastage of  mountains of throwaway plastic has led to her creativity with the material. She uses recycled plastic as a raw resource for making. Not just any plastic however. Just as if she were selecting precious stones, she chooses pieces with exactly the right qualities to suit her style. She reappraises plastic as a precious material and uses it thoughtfully and sparingly.

Materials and methods

Bronwen calls herself a ‘plasticsmith’. She doesn’t dye the material but begins from its existing colours, and textures. Her shapes resemble those found on a beach or dug up from the ground. She uses only hand tools to cut, file and scratch the surfaces. This slow and very considered approach is inspired by the natural processes of wear and weathering.  She works in stark contrast to high speed mass production that we associate with modern plastics. She mixes her waste with binders to create a new composite material, so she wastes almost nothing overall.

Trained as a jeweller, silversmith and textile & surface designer, at Sir John Cass, Camberwell and Bath Spa. Bronwen Gwillim lives in Bristol but spends as much time as she can in her boat on the River Severn in Gloucestershire, where she gains inspiration along the riverbank. She likes to observe the effects of the light and powerful tides on the ever-changing shapes and textures of the mud flats. Her colour palette of grey, blue, rust and yellow is taken directly from this landscape.


Naomi Langford

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