news from the workshop: grifol


My commission brooch is finally finished, and it has been delivered to the customer. Phew! As I posted last week, it’s been a bit of a mammoth task. I’ve gone through periods of hating the sight of it, but once it was oxidised to emphasise the texture and lettering, then polished back to the silver, I was actually very pleased with it. So was the customer, which is obviously the most important thing.

This is the first time I have used separate components to construct a brooch pin and clasp. In the past, I have just used an all-in-one unit, but I felt that would be too clumsy for this design. I bought the pin and hinge, but made the catch, and a tiny rivet to hold the pin in place, myself.

I think I’d do this again. Although it’s a bit fiddly, I prefer the finished look, which is much more elegant than the components I’ve used before.

For those who are wondering, ‘grifol’ is the Occitan word for holly. The brooch was designed as a gift for a lady who sings in an Occitan language choir, called Grifol. Hence the holly leaf, and the lettering.


The holly tree is traditionally associated with the winter months, so very appropriate for a January gift.

If you have an idea for a unique piece of jewellery, I’m always happy to discuss commissions. You can get in touch by using the contact form at the top of the page, or via my shop.

5 thoughts on “news from the workshop: grifol

  1. Thank you. The lady it was made for has formed an association and set up an Occitan language school locally.

  2. It’s interesting that people tend to think of Occitan as only being prevelent in the further south-west but in fact it spreads far further north than I realised. I went to a most interesting talk and supper in the Autumn in the village of Landeyrat which is in the Cantal Cezallier so roughly what you are looking at from your side of the Massiac gorge on the Occitan language and it’s effect on the culture of Auvergne. Your ladies choir sounds fascinating and what a treasure you have made for her. Really it is absolutely beautiful 🙂

  3. Thank you Osyth 🙂 I discovered how widespread Occitan was, and how recently, through reading the excellent The Discovery of France by Graham Robb. It seems important to me to preserve and celebrate these ancient languages, as they are such a key part of regional identity.

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