Bunny-Ear Iris - Single Iris Blossom Brooch

Artist: Virginia Causey
Materials:  copper, archival cold pressed paper (watercolor, color pencils, color permanent inks), archival polyester film, coin pearls,1.75mm faceted stones, and sterling silver 

Dimensions: height 2” by 2 1/4 “ wide with a tie finding

Artist Statement: Japanese Irises have always been a favorite flower and especially the purplish blue ones that have such a rich and vibrant royal color. The Iris image influenced my choice of fabric and historically, the Japanese Iris brings a message of wisdom and honor and has been cultivated in Japan for over 500 years. Walking through Seattle’s Japanese Garden and seeing the purple Irises in bloom which surrounds several ponds is breathtakingly. I have always wanted in someway to capture that essence in my jewelry pieces beyond just capturing it within my botanical paintings.

Throughout my childhood, daisies chains were not only special to me, but bring fond memories of sitting in the grass with my daughter and creating them with her. The title “Iris Garland” brings those memories back through childhood memories, Hawaiian greetings, peace, love, purity, passion and beauty. The addition of pearls brings a magical purity of the deep ocean passions to enrich the flowered garland.

Many layers of  fabricating techniques were used in  creating these pieces starting with long hours of designing, reworking and finally applying them to metal and paper. I enjoy cold connecting materials through riveting which is clearly evident in the piece. Each individual  Iris blossom is hand painted with watercolors, colored pencils and inks on archival cold pressed paper then covered with archival polyester film which is riveted to a sawed copper Iris silhouette. The connective elements were formed, soldered, diamond tools were used to enlarged the beads and pearls holes and the pearls were also drilled to tube setting 1.75mm round faceted stones. Texturing and finishing techniques competed the fabricating process.

I thoroughly enjoy these shows that challenges us to create unusual art pieces which might otherwise be left as unfinished pieces on our  workbenches or just a collection of sketches. The shows push our creating sensibilities, technical fabricating levels and visual interpretation to  give you the viewer a glimpse into our artistic world. I do hope you visually enjoy my jewelry interpretation of this Japanese fabric and all the pieces in the Yukata Show.

Artist Bio: I am a Pacific Northwesterner whose artwork has and is still being influenced by our picturesque landscapes, mountains and waterways. I have been a Metal/Jewelry artist and Art Educator for decades with a multi-faceted interest in the arts. My work has been included in numerous exhibitions, shows and in several permanent Art Museums collections. In addition to being a working artist craft person, I am devoted to the educational field and currently teaching at Seattle Pacific University, Pratt Fine Arts Center and other Art faculties.

Bunny-Ear Iris: The iris flowers with petals that rise straight up from the center are known as Bunny-Ear Iris. Flourishing in the spring, the iris represents good news, glad tidings, and loyalty.

This piece was part of the Yukata Inspired 2024, a collaborative exhibition between Okan Arts & Danaca Design featuring metalwork and collage. Learn more and view the entire collection HERE.