Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ozma's Diadem

The fabrication of the iconic Diadem was no simple matter.  The poppies were easy enough, I had dyed silk organza a bright red (redder than the photo) and formed the petals.  The stamens were black beads twisted on gold colored wire and sewn to a black velvet pad.  I made the stems by pulling upholstery cord through a silk bias tube.  

For the center piece, I decided to go with Bronzclay, since I had experimented with it last year, and had all of the tools.  If you haven't used precious metal clay before, it is amazing stuff.  You roll it, mold it, stamp it, sculpt it, like a regular (albeit very sticky and finicky) clay, then you bake it in a kiln and it becomes metal.  The finish is very matte after baking, the shine was achieved after an hour with a dremel and some jewelry-grade buffing oil.  The bubbles and pits had to do, I think, with the firing: the piece was a little too big for the pan, and I might not have kneaded the air out enough to start.  

The bands are simply corset boning painted gold.  The centerpiece clips onto the bands using some prongs I set into the back, also made of clay.  This worked way better than I would have thought.
Ta da!

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