Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Lea Stein Fairy Pin
Thank you David! You're the best husband ever! My Christmas stocking held this adorable Fairy pin by French jewelry artist Lea Stein (1931- ). Lea Stein and her husband developed a method of creating this plastic jewelry by layering thin sheets of cellulose acetate or rhodroid. By layering the sheets she could insert lace, fabric or brocade into each piece of jewelry. The rhodroid was then baked to form a "multi color sandwich of plastic". Each sandwich could take up to 6 months to make. She began her jewelry career in 1969, but in 1981 it became too difficult to compete financially. She stopped producing for a while but began again in 1991. For a more complete history of Lea Stein check out this website. I believe this fairy is not from her earlier period but a more current piece. It is definitely a Lea Stein as they are all labeled Lea Stein Paris on the distinctive V-shaped pin back. Her work is inspired from the art deco period. She does many designs, especially animals. You can see more photos of her pins here and then keep your eye out at flea markets and yard sales. That cute plastic pin could be a real treasure!