"Olive Fields" Brooch

May 2014
Sterling silver, jade

A client came to me with an interesting Mothers' Day project. He wanted a brooch for his wife that celebrated their daughter, Olive, as well as their multi-cultural Polish/Chinese family background. His surname very basically means "of Poland," and the name of the country itself reflects its agrarian roots and is derived from the Polish word for "field." The Chinese word for "field," 田 (tián) is a common surname in China, so it worked out perfectly in translation.

The two characters on the face of the brooch, 田家 (Tián Jiā), mean "Field family" and the entire piece is bordered by a vine-like olive branch motif with marquise-cut jade cabochons for the leaves and oval-cut jade cabochons for the olives.

I like the idea that since the client's name essentially translates to "of the field" (thus "farmer") and his daughter's name is Olive, this piece is a physical expression of how just as an olive farmer must tend to his crop for it to grow healthy and strong, so must the parents lovingly raise their daughter to ensure the same for her.