Puzzle Brooch

Puzzle Brooch Inspiration

This tsuba, the hand guard between the blade and handle of a Japanese samurai sword, suggested the proportions for my Puzzle Brooch. It is a favorite piece from my personal collection of swords and fittings. It has a tiny detail referring to the famous Naruto whirlpool. Can you find it?

puzzle brooch inspiration
puzzle brooch sketch

Sketch Stage

I designed the brooch with a balance of strength and delicacy, sculptural simplicity and surface complexity. Before building any piece, I work out the details on paper or computer. Even so, there’s always room for change while making the piece. What’s changed between this sketch and the final piece?

(By the way, did you find the tiny whirlpool? It’s in the lower right corner of the tsuba).


Puzzle Brooch

I “floated” strong, thick shapes next to each other, separated by a deep crevice to accentuate the dimensionality of the piece. Strong colors, surface texture and mirror image pattern work add tension to the form. The brooch has 14 pieces that disassemble when a spring loaded, locking wedge is slid aside.

The Puzzle Brooch was made for the 1999 American Jewelry Design Council Puzzle Exhibition.

(The difference? The three raised dots on the center disc moved to the side).

deconstructed puzzle brooch
completed puzzle brooch