“What better way to say what’s on your mind than by wearing your message? You are invited to PrettyPolitical’s Pre-Xmas ‘Protest Jewellery Workshop’. Join artist Jorine (aka PrettyPolitical) for a lovely, lazy late Sunday afternoon at Anchor Gallery in The Warehouse Cafe in Digbeth. Enjoy coffee, cake and some inspiring protest jewellery making!” [source]
Yesterday we had the joy of participating in the wonderful Protest Jewellery Workshop run by Pretty Political… it was fantastic fun, and beautifully inspiring. I also discovered a new technique that I will be bringing into my own work!
Jorine Beck, aka Pretty Political, started off the workshop by sharing her artistic practice with us, and showcasing her work that was being displayed in The Warehouse Cafe, as part of Anchor Gallery, where the workshop took place. Jorine’s illustrations, and jewellery are all about social justice, feminism, and righting the wrongs of the world through hope, optimism, and witty humour. I really love her illustration style, and enjoy how Jorine uses beauty, and cutesy elements that are then combined with hard-hitting political issues to create clever juxtapositions.
After the introductions we were encouraged to think about our own politics, and mind-map our thoughts on a particular message, injustice, or topic that we wanted to vent about through our art jewellery. The song Pussy Grabs Back by Kim Boekbinder had been stuck in my head all day… and if we’re talking about injustices, the Orange Prick is very very high on that list. I focused on the actual statement, and worked through that in my map.
We then took to a fresh sheet of people, and were instructed to forget about what we had just written, and simply draw shapes that appealed to us. In typical me fashion I doodled a cat, a cup of tea, a mermaid tail, a vulva, an eye, a pretty flower, some watermelon (as I had my watermelon dress on), and a love heart.
Now it was time to combine both of these pages of sketches together. Blending our messages with our pretty illustrations to create our own juxtapositions!
Once we were happy with our designs Jorine took us through the steps to transform our drawings into jewellery. We used shrink plastic as our medium. I have used shrink plastic once before, but it was when I was a child, and I remember it not working very well! so I was excited to give this a go. In short, we drew are designs on the plastic sheets with sharpies, cut out the shapes, Jorine baked them for us in the oven, they came out all tiny and cute, we glued the pins/earrings onto them, and like magic they were jewellery!!
This technique is perfect for my own illustrations, and as soon as I got home I ordered a pack of sheets. I plan to develop my skills further using this technique, and hopefully you will soon see hand-illustrated jewellery pieces making their way into my store soon!!
My earring designs used the words “PUSSY GRABS BACK” and I created a vulva/eye cross hybrid to highlight how we are no longer turning a blind eye to sexism and misogyny. My second earring used the word “MEOW” but I subverted it with fangs, to showcase a much fiercer pussy, and remind the world of the strength of felines. I am so proud of my little tiny pieces, they are adorable! and I will wear them with pride!
Stuart made a really cool TARDIS illustration, combined with the words “BREXIT IS NOT A TIME MACHINE” which I love. Nerdery and politics… what could be better?!
Thank you Pretty Political, this workshop was brilliant!
Stay tuned for more shrink plastic jewellery doodles coming soon…
Much arty love.