Monday, October 31, 2011

A Fairytale Princess Crown

Ever wanted to feel like a real princess with a golden crown? Well, I did – ever since I was a small girl. I drew lots and lots of princesses – just like my own daughter does it now – and all were of cause adorned with this tiny little crown, which seemed to balance effortlessly on top of their heads.
Well, today I am a goldsmith, in posessionof both the tools and means to create one, and so I decided to let this old childhood dream come to life. Here is the journey, which started with around 2,5 meters of silver wire:
I had made many – as in MANY - sketches in my sketchbook and finally decided on the one where the elegant curves of the art nouveau whiplash line I love so much had the best balance. Then I set out producing the first panel, taking notes as I went in order to make the creation of the following a bit easier.
So: One piece of roughly 27 cm 1,5 mm thick silver wire would form the base. I bent one end a bit and ran up a drop of silver, which I then smoothed soft again. Then I set out with my pliers, working to create the basic shape, which I then partly went over with a hammer on Grandpas anvil. Then the next 12 cm, which got the same treatment before they were soldered together. Then a test – does it still look right? Yup, it does!

A third piece of 1,2 mm wire was shaped and soldered on with the 3 bezel settings and here is what that looked like straight after:

Grimy and all, but the shape is as I wanted it!
So far, so good – now make another 4 identical panels!

And then the seriously difficult part: soldering it all together on a piece of half round wire. The difficult part is to make the solder flow, which requires a more or less even heating of the entire piece, without melting the thinner wires.


Now for setting the stones. That wasn’t entirely easy and I had to come up with some sort of support in order to be able to use the force required to push the bezels over the stones. A piece of wood came in handy…

All 15 stones set and the piece nicely polished, ready to be gilded

And here we go: One princess crown, covered in 18 carat gold and with 5 lively dancing pearls, individually mounted to each curl. What a stunner! I am very, very satisfied (and somewhat relived, to be honest ;-)

If you just GOT to have it, the good news is: You can! Buy it in the gallery in Copenhagen, internationally at Etsy or Amio in Denmark.

I brought the crown along with me to the Mama Gena book release in Copenhagen on 27th of october, where we crowned her "The Pleasure Queen" with it. I was rather proud to see my creation on the head of this fabulous pleasure powerhouse!

PS: Want to see another take at a princess crown? My very talented colleague Tess created one for her recent wedding – and what a stunner that is too!