Making Broken Beautiful Again with Bregjes Design

Every single person I know who is into vintage in one way or another is a lover of vintage china. It’s one of those things that transcends every different era we may be obsessed with. And nothing says vintage tea shop like odd pieces of pretty floral crockery coming together to create a unique tea setting. Of course, I’m no different and actually have a small collection of my own 1930s cream china pieces.

So, when I was approached by Dutch jewellery maker, Bregje Weterings, about possibly featuring her vintage china jewellery on the blog, I was instantly intrigued. I immediately went and had a look at her Etsy shop, Bregjes Design. What I came across was something that totally resonated with me. Bregje wasn’t just using vintage china but rather broken unwanted pieces that would normally just be thrown away and she had turned them into items of real beauty. I absolutely love this idea as I hate throwing anything away and would rather it be reworked into something else.

Bregjes Design

This makes every piece of jewellery on offer totally unique and it took me a several good looks through Bregjes Design’s catalogue to decide what to go for. There’s so many different options from necklaces, brooches, rings and sets of matching pieces all in different designs. The classic blue on white and pink on white floral designs dominate the range but less common ones, such as striped, ditsy multi-colour florals and raised self-colour pattern are also available.

When my chosen piece arrived it was lovingly wrapped in the cutest little bag with the Bregjes Design stamp on it and a matching gift card. When I carefully opened the bag I was met with a sprinkling of gold glitter. It was such a sweet surprise and fits in perfectly with the whole brand look. It did make me giggle too!

Bregjes Design Vintage Teacup Necklace

In the end I chose a beautiful necklace that has a long narrow piece of blue floral china as the pendant. I was attracted to it for both for the colour and the design as it features nearly an entire flower, rather than just a random piece of pattern. The top edge of it was clearly the edge of a saucer or plate and every time I wear it I wonder who owned that piece of crockery over the years. Was it part of a well loved set that was used constantly or something that was kept for best? And when did it part with the rest of the set or was it the very last piece left?

Bregjes Design Vintage Teacup Necklace

Bregjes Design Vintage Teacup Necklace

The collection, which Bregje lovingly calls Granny’s China, combines two of her long standing passions, vintage crockery and statement jewellery. She has a large collection of her own china but when one of her beloved cups or plates accidentally slips on to the floor she knows it won’t be wasted. Pretty floral patterns and gold edges are her favourite designs and they lend themselves perfectly to the ultra feminine pieces.

When the broken shards are too small to use Bregje uses a Japanese technique called kintsugi to join two pieces together. This technique works by repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum so the joins are visible. The Japanese believe that this technique treats the breakage and repair as part of the object’s history, rather than wanting to disguise what might have happened. I just love this idea!

1920s style dress

Each broken shard goes through a process of being sanded, milled and glazed to allow it be turned into a wearable item. You won’t find any sharp edges that may cut you but the piece is still left with plenty of unique character. Jewellery findings are then added, such as a sterling silver ring either in a set size or an adjustable option. The necklace I chose has a long dainty silver ball chain which can be easily adjusted at home to be made shorter. I kept mine the length it came as to fit in more with my early 20th Century style.

1920s style dress

I teamed the necklace here with a 1920s style dress that I bought from Hobbs brand N.W.3 a few years ago. It’s such a beautiful dress created in a pale green cotton lawn that features embroidery, pin tucks and fagotting throughout, which gives it a real handmade vintage feel. I think the necklace goes perfectly with it, creating that all important vertical line to draw your attention away from the shapeless dress.

I’m very grateful to Bregjes Design for allowing me to buy this beautiful piece of continuing history at a vastly reduced price in exchange for this review. I absolutely adore this necklace and wear it a lot. It always attracts comments or questions and I’m so glad that this small piece of china didn’t end up in landfill.

Cate

Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. Lover of all things old, lingerie obsessive, crafter and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.

19 Comments

    • It is such a clever idea. When I first saw them I thought ‘now why didn’t I think of that?’! It also makes you look at broken things differently. xx

  1. What a fantastic idea! Such creativity to rework something many people would have thrown away. I really love the idea of bringing something back to life to be loved and cherished once more. And you chose such a pretty piece!

    • Me too! I was so amazed when I first saw Bregje’s work, it really is ingenious. xx

  2. Lovely photos, I’m admiring your furniture and attire equally! I’d heard of kintsugi, interesting technique. I had to look up faggoting…x

    • Thank you Sarah! I thought you might like the setting. Faggoting is really beautiful and a technique I’d love to try in my own work. xx

  3. That’s such a lovely idea. I hate it when people destroy something whole in order to make something, but taking broken things and making something new and lovely is brilliant.

    That is such a great dress – I thought, “Golly, has Cate found a stash of wearable 20s days dresses?” I’ve got a dress based on a 1920s tennis dress that Hobbs did a few years ago; clearly they went through a phase.

    • Oh I wish! Could you imagine finding original 1920s dresses in such beautiful condition? Hobbs do seem to go through these vintage inspired phases. I bought a couple of very 1950s inspired dresses from them a couple of years ago. They’ve got a few 1960s ones at the moment, in case you didn’t know. xx

  4. This is so pretty, and I love the way you photographed it with your vintage china.

    The dress is lovely as well. xx

  5. How lovely is that necklace! I’m also totally in love with your 1920s inspired dress, and your 1930s china is divine!

    • Thanks Ann! Yes, the necklace is gorgeous and I’m actually wearing it right now. I’ve worn it quite a bit, it goes with so much. xx

  6. What a fantastic idea! The piece you chose is so lovely and something I could see you wearing for years to come. I love this concept 🙂

    • It’s a great idea isn’t it? It’s such a versatile necklace and I think anyone who wasn’t actually in to vintage would also love it. xx

    • Thank you Kate! It was a bit strange having my hair straight for this as I generally always have it curly when I’m in head to toe vintage, but I thought it went better with the whole 1920s look. xx

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