Eleanor Moty is an artist metalsmith of great significance to the Studio jewelry movement of the 1960s and 70s. Exploring flat planes and geometric form, her work was influenced by her childhood surroundings, including the ice of Illinois. Rutilated quartz features predominantly as a stone choice, as do mixed metals. Many accolades have been awarded to her for exploration and innovation with jewelry processes in photo etching and electroforming.

Brooches needn’t be worn to be complete, however each brooch has a specially made pinning mechanism integrated into the back of the piece should one wish to wear it. Not having to fit the piece to the body, as is necessary with other types of adornment, I can concentrate on the sculptural aspects of the brooch.

Eleanor Moty

Eleanor Moty b. 1945

Eleanor Moty works in the modern formalist tradition of Margaret De Patta, using the interplay of light, planes and topography to create brooches (her sole focus) that are self-contained landscapes. While still a student at Tyler School of Art and Architecture (where she studied under Stanley Lechtzin and was a classmate of Albert Paley's), she significantly advanced the techniques of photoetching and electroplating. She graduated with a masters from Tyler in 1971. Early in her career, she embraced emerging movements in contemporary jewelry, such as fantasy-cut gemstones and the use of semi-precious stones and industrially-produced materials. Moty builds up her brooches through a collage-like process around a particular stone to highlight its inherent qualities and the lapidary’s artistic choices, often using pearls, slate, Micarta, and broad, satin-finished silver planes to accentuate the stone; she names the work only after it has been finished, according to the feeling, story or place it evokes.