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!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Support the Breasts– with a BOOB-Bracelet

October is the official international breast cancer awareness month, supported by numerous organizations. This is a cause that I most happily support bydonating 5% of the profit from the sales of my BOOB-bracelets this month. Additionally, I have donated a bracelet to the Danish association “Forældre og Fødsel” (Parents and Birth) which supportsbrand new parents in being so – especially focusing on the challenges of breast feeding.

So, why this focus on breasts? Well, apart from the fact that they generally are lovely and present an aesthetic detail that I happen to like a lot about my own physical appearance, this is a rather important cause in my opinion. One of my friends survived breast cancer which takes one hell of a woman (and a lot of luck)! And I have my own, painful experiences with breast feeding

I have the most wonderful daughter of 7 years, who was rather difficult to breastfeed when she was a baby. But I knew, that my milk was the best I could give her, and so I stubbornly fought on for half a year, when I – after no less than 4 rounds of mastitis – had to give up. That had the sad result, that the first half year of my daughter’s life meant a lot of pain to me, which complicated developing a loving relationship to her and probably contributed to the postnatal depression that I developed. That took some time to shake off again, but luckily she and I have catched up on the love a long time ago. However, it left med extremely aware of the challenges freshly baked mothers and their babies face in that first period, where breastfeeding is so overwhelmingly vital.

One of the challenges of nursing, as most mothers will know, is the fact that the breasts need to be emptied equally and evenly on both sides in order to avoid said mastitis. Alas, when having a nursing brain, the world turns sort of incoherent and your tunnel vision is solely focused on the tiny life in your arms. In that situation, remembering which boob is next presents a surprising challenge.

This is why I developed the BOOB-bracelet. It consists of a set of cockily domed boobs made of silver with either copper or gold nipples. The boobs are placed on – very appropriately – an elastic bra strap, which enables the nursing mother to easily move the bracelet from one arm to the other – thereby serving as a reminder when her own brain fails. The challenge is of cause to remember to actually do it… It is a somewhat cheeky piece of jewelry, which also appeals to strong women, who would like to support the cause – or just proudly display their gender (if in doubt).

The BOOB-bracelet costs 700 kr for a set with copper nipples and 850 kr for a set with golden nipples. The bra strap is by the way not closed – this is a detail each woman has to do for herself with needle and thread, ensuring that it fits just her. Buy the bracelet in the gallery or at Etsy.