Michelle Stewart’s Army Men offer a curious juxtaposition and outlook. Rather than being aggressively armed they are adorned. During the creation process she took great joy in disarming them and offering a new outlook while adding a subtle comment on life. Michelle is a jewellery designer and the army men came about in her honours year. She usually incorporates flowers into her designs, but these unusual characters proposed a certain level of fragility of their own, through their symbolic statements. The title for each piece was inspired by sayings, quotes or songs. Titles like ‘Find a Friend’, ‘Protect Yourself’ and ‘Throw the Line’ extends insight into the mind-set in which they were formed. Created from sterling silver, their ‘accessories’ are sculpted from an interesting collection of materials including copper, enamel paint and dyed plastic. Each tiny item was hand-crafted making them rather intriguing and finely detailed. We are surrounded by concurrent gloom, but seeing what is traditionally destructive in a whimsical light makes for a cheerful change. Text: Nadia van der Mescht Nadia is a creative consultant who has a passion for locally crafted products. She works with fellow creatives to build their brand, online presence and press portfolio. Creativity with integrity is her motto. Read her blog at lovecupcakecouture.co.za.