Inspiration for the Smooth Newt Brooch
This Smooth Newt Brooch was originally made as an ornament in a commemorative collection to mark a long and happy marriage where nature played an important role. A female smooth newt had taken residence in their garden pond and obviously captured the hearts of this happy couple.
Initially I found the modelling a real challenge. I simply couldn’t make out the exact shape of the tail from the range of photographs I had found. Finally the penny dropped! I had forgotten that the newts pass through various stages (aquious, terrestrial) in which they change shape slightly – particularly their tails. This is the female smooth newt in her “terrestrial” stage – modelled thanks to a wonderful video on one crawling across someone’s hand. Her amazing concertina tail became my favourite feature!
Since modelling my newt ornament, I have spotted more and more (real!) smooth newts in and around my garden. It is certainly a model where I had to slightly accentuate her features in order to capture the essence of this elusive creature. So when I do spot one in the garden, I try not to look too closely for fear of judging my own model too harshly!
While it started life as an ornament – me being me – I couldn’t resist attempting an newt necklace – and now this brooch. Initially worrying she was a bit too plain to be transformed into jewellery, she’s become one of my ‘go to’ necklaces.