I know we’re living in an age when literally everything is described as a part of a curatorial process (tumblr blogs! playlists! your newsfeed!)…but honestly, acquiring pins really does make you feel a little like a curator or collector.
I’ve always thought that if I suddenly struck it rich I’d invest some of my wealth in contemporary art, maybe picking up some works on paper or small sculptures here and there. In the meantime, I can capture the same feeling in miniature by gathering together a careful selection of brooches: supporting independent businesses and emerging artists at a minor cost my budget can handle!
You may have encountered them before–especially if you follow me on instagram!–but please allow me to introduce you, formally, to my ever-growing pin family!
Let’s start, as Maria von Trapp might say, from the very beginning! The National Geographic pin was the first brooch I ever purchased as an adult: in my youth, I had a whole slew of Junior Ranger badges and Disneyworld pins to my name. I picked it up last spring while visiting the National Geographic headquarters in D.C.
The “400 Years of Shakespeare” badges were gifts for institutions that participated in the Folger’s First Folio! tour of the USA this year: and because I gave endless First Folio tours during its quick Massachusetts stop (probably the most fun I’ve ever had at work!), my supervisor kindly gave it to me as a memento.
These two comprise the “museum professional and historian” cohort of my pin collection–but you know there’s more to my personality than that!
From the Globe Theatre to glittery mermaids, as it were! I snatched this (“damaged”) pin during a Doll Me Up clearance–it was half-off because of a supposed scratch in the acrylic that is practically invisible. Hey, I’ll never say no to a good deal!
A lot of people associate the burgeoning brooch craze with enamel pins, but as I’ve said in previous pin-related reviews, I’m actually quite fond of laser-cut acrylic accessories. I enjoy that they’re often larger than enamel pins, and pair well with particularly bright outfits.
That’s not to say I don’t have any enamel pins, though!
You know I love to mock the marketing ploy of putting trite sayings on things, but I have to admit (shh!) that I…actually really like this one. Glittery unicorn from Little Arrow Studio, please don’t ever let me quit my daydream.
You might think this little guy by Luxcups Creative is the odd one out of my pin collection, but bats are just as nostalgic for me as mermaids and unicorns and magical creatures. When I was a baby, my parents gave me a board-book to teach me about the Hawaiian words for colors–and the page for black (‘ele’ele) had an illustration of the endemic Hawaiian hoary bat, or ʻōpeʻapeʻa!
The bat was hanging upside-down from a tree, as bats do, but my baby-self always insisted on turning the book upside-down so the bat looked right. Naturally, I had to turn this little pin around too!
And, of course, you’ve already met my first mermaid pin from Unicorn Crafts! (Yes, no surprises here–mermaids will definitely be the curatorial focus of any upcoming acquisitions for my mini pin museum!)