Saturday, September 1, 2012

House of York Historical Romance Assemblage

Okay -- ultra feminine bricolage, perfect for the cover of a bodice ripping historical romance, just listed in my Etsy store!

This was an exciting weekend design journey -- I decided to rework the rhinestone brooch that had been part of a rather underwhelming necklace.  When I laid it out on my work bench these other parts seemed to jump right to it with little effort from me; I mean it just sorta happened!

First problem was the floral brooch.  It is plastic, even though it looks like enameled chippy pot metal.  It didn't conform well to the surface of the rhinestone brooch.  Solution:  I warmed it up on my handy coffee cup warmer (from the local thrift) and carefully curved it while it was still soft.  It was then papered over a la Keith LoBue, as was the rhinestone pretty; they were wired together and then papered one more time.  I love doing that; it adds another dimension of interest in the old text, it is real bricolagey and I am crazy for the delicious old old papers and fonts with bits of words that fool you into trying to explain their presence.  Provocation, I call it.  Makes you think.

Here you can see how the papering helps to stabilize the wiring, gets it away from the skin of the wearer, and finishes off the back, unifying the parts.  A curious owner might want to make sense of the fragmentary text, which came from an 1800s encyclopedia and actually has the words "mind and body" in one of the sentences.  Pretty new age for the 1800s, eh?

I used a modern chain, an old black glass rosary, and cobbled-together chain fragments and antique filigree beads for a three-strand necklace that helps in scale and visual texture to balance off the rather heavy pendant.  Surprise, the scholastic key award seems to belong -- the result reminds me a bit of those old royal orders that were worn as badges and chains and were weighty in significance, but still quite pretty.

I think the whole array turned out looking much older than the parts ever did, and they were both antique and vintage, mostly.  Oxidized with Jax Pewter Black, then finished off with a generous coat of Dorland's and Dirt, allowed to cure, then waxed with Renaissance Wax and lightly buffed.  It looks like it got passed down in the family.  Distaff line, most likely!


  1. wow, this post is so educational. never thought of paper to stablize stableize stabolize.... i cant spell
    but dude im cracking up so much over your box of fuglies awards! and yet, i instantly start thinking what i could do w/each piece when i look at them. im curious about the matching brooch and pie-slice silver earrings. they look way cool. and the big bracelet links look like dominos. maybe in a game-piece bracelet?
    anywho, big kisses from chicago.

  2. The problem with that polka dotted bracelet is that it weighs a ton and got abandoned most likely because it is so heavy that the stringing together stuff got stretched. I don't know what possesses manufacturers to make things so heavy; it could have been lightened up by making the plates a little thinner. If I were to use any part of it, I would want to remove some metal with my Dremel bur.