BROKEN PLATES SQUARE STUDS
Museum Member Price: $58.50
Handcrafted Jewelry Designed by Gillian Preston of Broken Plates exclusively for The Academy Museum.
For pierced ears. Size varies from .25-.375 inches
With nearly eighty years exposed to the elements, each 24-karat gold leafed glass tile comes with the story of its past. The jewelry makes a nod to its Art Deco origins, while respecting the innate character only time can create. When you wear a piece from this collection, you’re celebrating a piece of history.
Gillian Preston is a glass artist working out of Pittsburgh, PA, where she creates her line of glass jewelry, Broken Plates. Broken Plates is a line of contemporary glass wearables that combines traditional blown glass techniques with modern CNC technologies.
Things to note and cherish within your gilded glass tile jewelry
- Some pieces feature dark streaks of copper that went unmixed in the original batch of glass used to make the tiles in the 30s. Copper is used to turn clear glass blue. Pieces where the copper goes unmixed, appear greener in color. These streaks allow us to remember that these tiles were made by hand.
- You may see more blue glass peeking through some tiles vs. others. This is evidence of greater wear on the glass over time. We chose to celebrate the resulting textures and patterns this created by featuring those pieces prominently.
To remove the original building materials from the tiles, Broken Plates used diamond coated grinders followed by a light sandblasting of the surface to make sure all non-glass materials were removed, taking care to protect the gold leaf on the surface. Each piece was then cut into shape. At this point, the surface of the gold leafed glass appeared matte in finish. To return it to its original glassy shine, we worked to calculate its melting temperature through a series of test firings in our kiln. Finding the exact temperature at which the glass starts to melt allowed us to bring the deep blues and greens of the 1930s glass back to life while also restoring the original gold leaf to a high polish.