1970s Lea Stein Cicada Brooch
Super fun, whimsical black, white and silver cicada brooch made by French designer, Lea Stein in the 1970s. It is made out of thin layers of a plastic called cellulose acetate and measures 3 1/4" long x 1 1/4" wide. The back pof the brooch is signed, 'Lea Stein Paris'.
Stein entered the fashion industry in 1957 working in textiles, and by 1965 had developed an interest in plastic. She worked with her husband, chemist Fernand Steinberger, to develop a process of layering very thin sheets of cellulose acetate and laminating them to form a "multi-colored sandwich of plastic". Each 'sandwich' was baked for a long time, then cooled and cut into shapes. The process could take as long as six months. Stein is often hailed as "the most notable and innovative designer of plastic jewelry of the 20th century".