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Brooke Benoit's Profile

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Brooke Benoit began offering her adornment art-pieces in the early 1980’s on the blacktop at John Davidson Elementary in Daly City, California. Using a technique she learned from the Camp Fire Girls of America, Benoit intricately weaved carefully coordinated ribbons onto metal barrettes accenting them with experimental selections of bead and feather dangles. Her clips were highly sought out by her peers, her mother’s co-workers, and the recess attendant at Davidson who was Benoit’s best customer and supporter of her craft. Benoit had her first taste at making indie business success with her own hands.

At eleven years old Benoit’s work became entirely experimental without any desire for financial gain. Likely influenced by her too-young exposure to Elle magazine and the daytime serial One Life to Live, she became obsessed with the sparkle making and attention getting of addin…

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  • Female
  • Born on June 29
  • Joined May 23, 2008

Favorite materials

Stone, Metal, Glass, Clay, Fiber, Recycled, Reused, Fair Trade, Stuff of The Earth, and Stars

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About

Brooke Benoit began offering her adornment art-pieces in the early 1980’s on the blacktop at John Davidson Elementary in Daly City, California. Using a technique she learned from the Camp Fire Girls of America, Benoit intricately weaved carefully coordinated ribbons onto metal barrettes accenting them with experimental selections of bead and feather dangles. Her clips were highly sought out by her peers, her mother’s co-workers, and the recess attendant at Davidson who was Benoit’s best customer and supporter of her craft. Benoit had her first taste at making indie business success with her own hands.

At eleven years old Benoit’s work became entirely experimental without any desire for financial gain. Likely influenced by her too-young exposure to Elle magazine and the daytime serial One Life to Live, she became obsessed with the sparkle making and attention getting of adding rhinestones to anything she could shove a metal prong base through: her jeans, her sneakers, canvas book bags and a few ruined blouses. The following year her family moved within walking distance of a bead and craft store and several thrift shops, including her lifelong favorite St. Vincent de Paul. During this time, likely caused by something she had erroneously been taught in junior high school, Benoit now believed that the life of an artist was one of likely destitution and she contently abandoned the financial security of mass producing ready wear. Aside from an occasional Kit Kat and a Slurpee, Benoit spent her babysitting earnings on amassing eclectic vintage trinkets and creating one-of-a-kind adornments for herself and people in her intimate circle. With ready access to a wealth of materials, the scope of Benoit’s work in adornment notably expanded into repurposing and she also began curating (in her bedroom) select pieces both found and of her own.

At nineteen Benoit was accepted to her first college choice of the San Francisco Art Institute where she focused on Interdisciplinary Arts, meaning she had no direct focus. She supported herself through school in the non-profit mental health sector, and although she continued to repurpose thrifted clothing for herself, because of an endless shopping list of much needed Fine Art supplies she could no longer afford extraneous baubles. Passionately dedicated to mastering the ability to make Fine Art, Benoit’s relationship towards adornment took on a near ascetic quality as she wore the same reproduction mini disco ball on a faux leather cord for three years. It lost a lot of sparkle.

On a one year break from college that included six month stays in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, Benoit had an awakening. Upon her return to SFAI she heartlessly trudged through the daily rigmaroles while longing for the fuller life available beyond the erratically constructed campus. Soon enough she took another leave of absence in which she got married, relocated to Brooklyn, began selling other people’s art at a bourgeois enclave in Park Slope, and while she planned to continue her art studies instead she abruptly began creating babies. During her early domestic years Benoit discovered that along with baby making came a need to learn several other new crafts, including the art of cloth diapering, handcrafting organic baby food, an extensive scope of pedagogical approaches to home-educating, knitting, and felting. She quickly and haphazardly learned several theatrical techniques, such as staging lyrical finger play performances, and especially found herself needing to act patient and indifferent in the face of many, many unexpected and bizarre child-centered occurrences.

In 2005, while living in Alaska, Benoit had a realization that it had been some considerably time, again, since she had bought or made for herself a wearable piece of art. Logging onto The World’s Marketplace intending to buy a pair of earrings, instead she ordered several mouth-watering strands of precious and semi-precious gemstones. With more materials on hand than she could justify for personal use, Benoit returned to her love of making art-piece quality adornment and happily offering it locally and on The World’s Marketplace. She also somehow managed to complete her first degree through the University of Alaska at Anchorage. In 2011 Benoit moved her jewelry selling to where most of her handmade buying was happening--on Etsy.

Currently Brooke Benoit lives with her husband and their six well-spaced children in the ridiculously inspiring and enlightening African Mediterranean country of Morocco, the High Atlas Mountains to be precisish. Benoit’s work for Brookolie is imbued with the urban sophistication she has life-long been exposed to as well as the elements of nature and newness that she continually seeks out.

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