sitting on the shelf, he is just a toy
but I turn him on and he comes to life
that is why I want a coin-operated boy......
- Coin-Operated Boy by The Dresden Dolls -
A friend of mine sent me the song with a message attached saying something along the lines of “you’ll like this song, it’s about dildos lol” Naturally intrigued, I listened. I giggled at the obvious sex toy connotations and tapped my foot along to the rhythm. It was not until I had listened to the song a few times that I realised what it was actually about: loneliness, heartbreak, frustration at being lonely, with undertones of self-loathing. That was something I could connect to. The double entendre, and double meanings within The Dresden Doll’s writing style are why I fell in love with their music. They draw you in with amusement and a catchy tune and rip your heart out with raw human emotion.
The Coin-Operated Boy hand-held brooch is what you see before you. It is formed from my hand, and electroplated in smooth shining silver, tactile and glorious to touch and fondle. When I feel alone or sad, I touch things, anything, I run my fingers over things, it calms my anxiety. This piece sits inside its plush little box, a box for a bedside table. When you feel lonely you can take it out and hold in in your hand, run your fingers over its indents, or you can you use its contents...
Coin-Operated Boy was a part of my Degree Show collection in my final year at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. This collection was titled: Lexicon Creatures, and it featured five of my favourite narratives that I transformed into three-dimensional , wearable creations. Details from each tale were picked out and dissected into parts that I found beautiful, fascinating or questioning, and I constructed my interpretations into the final creatures using a variety of techniques that I had learned during my education, including: nitric acid etching, 3D printing, electroforming, and a unique beading style that I developed.
This work is available for commission. Please email me at for more details.
While developing my degree show collection at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design I discovered that my niche skill within the world of jewellery-making is etching, especially hand-drawn nitric acid etches. Through this method of scraping away
lines of black etching fluid I fell in love with pattern drawing and this love has become my ink and paper illustrations. My portfolio of illustration is inspired by my penchant for the fantastical, and I often feature strange creatures within my highly patterned portraiture. The crisp black and white lines have become my signature style.