Welcome to the latest instalment of the Handmade’s Tale. This week Natasha talks to pinup girl-turned-jewellery designer Miss Lady Abroad.
She’s a mother-of-two, a pinup pageant queen/ organiser and a dedicated pilot for the Australian Air Force. When she’s not on a mission Miss Lady Abroad loves nothing more than hanging out with her family, quaffing coffee at her favourite cafe and working on her own handcrafted jewellery line with her husband.
Hailing from Lilydale, Victoria, the internationally published pinup and pageant winner who has titles in Miss Viva Las Vegas 2013 and Miss Pinup Australia under her belt, made her first vintage-style brooch in 2013 for the Miss Ballarat Beat pinup competition (which she organised with her friend Ruby Rabbit).
It was an immediate hit and Miss Lady A Broad Design soon began slinging her range of wearable works of art throughout the vintage and pinup community and beyond.
Her 1940s-style brooches, crafted from layers of wood, printed design with a resin coating incorporate both vintage and modern elements. Each piece has been designed with a slightly aged look and customised illustration to give it an authentic vintage appearance.
Their creativity doesn’t stop there – Miss Lady Abroad and her hubby make everything from handcrafted timber signage and theatre props to pin up pageant trophies!
Read on to find out more about Miss Lady Abroad!
Have you always been a vintage jewelry lover/ collector?
I’ve always had a love for 1940 jewellery due to the intricate detail and craftsmanship.
Over time I have collected a range of 1940-1950 brooches to help me with my own designs and inspiration.
What are your creative inspirations?
The beautiful paintings of George Petty, Alberto Vargas and Zoè Mozert have inspired my designs. Each image that features on our brooches has been created and reworked to come up with an authentic looking vintage illustration. A lengthy process but very rewarding knowing that it’s your work.
My aim for the appearance for the brooches has always been to make them look like they are aged and vintage in style. Timber and premium printing create a soft, gentle and warm feeling.
Were you always crafty/ creative as a youngster?
I have always been an artistic soul with lots of ideas and creativity. From an early age I was making crafty Christmas presents for friends and family and selling my illustrations in a local shop. I have always felt a pull to design, making and producing something. As a trained Graphic designer, working on corporate designs just wasn’t my style. With little confidence in my talent it was hard to find my passion and self worth.
What materials do you use? And how long does each piece take to make?
Recently we have incorporated acrylic into the mix to enhance certain features on some brooches. Each brooch takes upwards of 30 minutes to complete depending on how intricate it is. It is very much a labor of love with every brooch assembled by hand and lovingly completed in a uniquely designed box to protect them when not being worn.
Are your designs mainly one-offs?
Custom orders are a specialty for us and we enjoy working with clients to make something that stands out and reflects their personality. We make all of our designs to be clever in some way. If it be the name of the brooch or the combination of images. Our brooches tell a story through imagery and material. It’s the little details and the thought that goes into the piece that makes it so special.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The greatest enjoyment about what I do is the feed back I receive.
It is so humbling to know that others see our vision and acknowledge the craftsman ship put into each piece. Over the past year our designs and techniques have incorporated different types of timber along with mirror acrylic.
How has your style evolved over time?
Our style has expanded into a spiritual range of brooches. This required a lot of research and was challenging. I wanted the brooches to be minimalistic in style yet hold a wealth of information and be subtle enough for everyday.
Any plans to branch out into other areas/ products besides jewellery?
In time, we hope to move into Christmas decorations and timber mobiles that hold meaning and worthy of becoming a family heirloom and in time becoming true vintage.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?
There is an attachment to all of my brooches but I am very fond of the Theresa Dee brooch ( as in 3D ).
Her theme is watching a movie with her real 3D glasses and 3D popcorn with a surprised or worried look on her face. A simple overall design yet her 3D glasses were tedious to make with timber veneer and cellophane.
Where can people learn more about your work and purchase their own pieces?
Lady A Broad, works of art can be purchased at www.ladyabroad.com.au