Brooch, Spirit Level Series - Dorothy Hogg

Brooch, Spirit Level Series, Dorothy Hogg, 1995. Image © Nick Turner

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Jewellery making: modelling, wire-brushing
Stainless steel
L100mm x H50mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Troon, Scotland
Place Trained
Royal College of Art, MA Design, 1970; Glasgow School of Art, Diploma of Art, 1967
Craft Residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum, sponsored by the Crafts Council, 2008; Shortlisted, Jerwood Applied Arts Prize: Jewellery, 2000


Professor Dorothy Hogg MBE is one of Britain's most admired jewellers working with metal. The Spirit Level Brooch was part of a 2004 series about balance and movement. It reflected Hogg’s own balancing act in life, juggling her job as Head of Jewellery and Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art, her own work, curating, and raising a young family.

The pieces were designed to respond to the movement of the body and the pull of gravity. There is tension between positive and negative shapes combined with a subtle organic reference, but ever present is the potential for chaos when the balancing wires react to movement.

Hogg was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Medal at the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Awards in 2010.

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Corinne Julius

“This simple, elegant, wearable brooch is about much more than what is revealed at first glance. It deals with the relationship between the wearer and the object; as the wearer moves the brooch responds to her movement. That is the special intimacy of jewellery. The brooch also tells a story, reflecting the balance women often have to find between their professional, family and social lives. As the movement of the loops show, it is easy to get them out of kilter. Another important reason for choosing this brooch is Dorothy Hogg herself. She has pushed the boundaries of contemporary jewellery and as a teacher has taught so many other jewellers, many of whom are represented in the Crafts Council Collection.”

Corinne Julius

Corinne Julius, Broadcaster, writer & critic on contemporary craft and design. Crafts Council Acquisition Advisor, 1999-2000.

From the Archive

Extract from catalogue for the 2000 Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Jewellery, for which Hogg was shortlisted. © Crafts Council

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