Sunday, 2 January 2011

I just can't get enough of Lea Stein's Brooch designs!

I love this tortoise shell design the most AND I'm obsessed with foxes I even have a tattoo of one!
"Lea Stein (1931 —) is a French artist and accessories maker, known for her compressed plastic buttons, brooches and bracelets. She is often hailed as "the most notable and innovative designer of plastic jewelry of the 20th century".

"The most easily recognizable Lea Stein pin is the 3-D fox, which has been produced in a myriad of colors and designs. Often, lace or metal layers were incorporated into the celluloid, which produced an astounding number of unique textures. The 3-D fox's tail is looped from one piece of celluloid." (

Little is known about her childhood, but some sources suggest that she spent part of it in a WWII concentration camp. She also trained as an artist at a young age.
If you love cats, there is lovely cat faces and whole cat designs too.
Stein entered the fashion industry in 1957 working in textiles, and by 1965 had developed an interest in plastic.
She worked with her husband, chemist Ferdinand Steinberger, to develop a process of layering very thin sheets of cellulose acetate (or rhodoid) and laminating them to form a "multi-coloured sandwich of plastic".
You can also buy them at this website Rumours Decorative Arts
Each 'sandwich' was baked for a long time, then cooled and cut into shapes. The process could take as long as six months.
Another site that sells them and you can sell your unwanted pieces is
This technique allowed Stein to insert different fabrics (such as brocades and lace), colors and textures into the plastic. "
Stein's brooches feature animals, cars, household items, celebrities and people in a distinctive style, sometimes resembling Art Deco (which leads some people to mistakenly date her work to the 1920s).
Each brooch has a name, sometimes as simple as 'Fox' or more descriptive like 'Quarrelsome' the cat. Each design might come in dozens of different colors and patterns.
(all quotes borrowed from
Her designs are selling for about £40 each on ebay at the moment
I would love to own what I think is truely a unique innovative and striking style of jewellery. I might even start a collection! What do you all think about her designs?

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