Selections from the Collection: Sebo Brooch

Rachel Carren, William Morris Sebo Brooch, 2009

This is one from a series of screen printed segmented brooches. Working with stamped and printed images, Rachel has taken surface ornamentation on polymer to new heights. Writing about this piece, Rachel says,

“This brooch design is the fruition of several years of exploration with air filled pillow constructions. Individual segments are combined to make a whole. These combinations have become increasingly complicated. The undivided segments (of this brooch) allow for more surface so the patterning is displayed on a larger area. The dimensionality of this design reminds me of a fabric covered form, even though here, the pillows are hollow. The color scheme was inspired by the work of William Morris and the screen patterns were selected to be compatible but not a direct borrowing of Morris’s own designs.”

“I work to develop designs that I then use with unique sheets of clay. Because of the variegation of the polymer sheet, I often make 2-3 brooches from a single sheet which will look related, but never identical”

Here’s another from this series:

Rachel Carren, William Morris Divided Sebo Brooch, 2009

Rachel explains her process this way:

“Two custom patterns were sequentially hand screened onto variegated polymer sheeting. Each segment is comprised of two parts each of which is an air filled pillow like form that I developed. The two part segments are fitted together and then positioned on a base layer of polymer that has been highlighted with mica powder to become the background. A cut out is made and the two ends are pinched together to form the point. Finished with mica highlighted polymer detailing at center and points.”

I cannot remember a time in my life that I wasn't interested in looking at art, talking about art and the making of art. In 1990 I earned a Phd in art history at the University of Maryland. My first experiences with polymer clay were in 1992, but I consider my real work with the medium to date from 1999.