Profile picture of Sue Bryan

Victorian Mourning Brooch Statement

During a time of forced realization that neither my neighborhood nor my country are the idealized, safe places that I had once projected, my car was vandalized. The beautifully shattered glass from my passenger window became a symbol of a broader loss of idealism, a loss that I chose to process by creating a public symbol in the style of the mourning and memorial jewelry of the mid-1800's.

During the somber Grand Period of the Victorian era, imposing styles such as the bodice brooch were worn by women following the strict fashion codes of a grieving Queen Victoria. These pieces often memorialized a loved one with a gem-like treatment of intricately woven hair surrounded by pearls or gemstones. In place of these traditional materials, I reclaimed broken safety glass and recycled scrap silver to create a modern, hopeful interpretation of the classic Victorian designs, helping me to build a new way of understanding and living in this complex world.

Inspired by the strength imparted by intentionally designed objects, Sue Bryan makes jewelry in forms that live at the intersection of nature and architecture. Her goal is to create private amulets whose symbolic impact can originate in the intention of the wearer, the giver, or the maker.

Sue grew up wielding power tools and craft materials in Minnesota and has always been most happy making things. She left college with a B.S. in Biology and a M.A. in Linguistics and wandered the world with a backpack for five years. She is currently living in Los Angeles where she has spent the last 20 years designing theme park attractions, specializing in interactive experiences. She has received jewelry-related training from a number of craft schools and respected jewelry artists and spends many of her weekends honing her metalsmithing skills.

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.