Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Vivienne Heirloom Band Tiara

This is Vivienne Heirloom Tiara/Band which I made using an original 1980's crystal-and-faux-pearl-set goldtone brooch, wired into a handmade frame and embellished with Swarovski crystal and seed beads/rocailles.   A particular challenge was identifying the crystal pearl colour to match the original faux pearl, but as usual, I found a good match in one of the Swarovski pearl colours, and after identifying the matching Swarovski crystal colours, the challenge I had to come up with something a bit inventive for the side ornamentation which complemented the original brooch, so I made four-petal Swarovski-based flowers and also came up with Swarovski crystal pearl and bead 'rosettes', which you can see here to the side of the piece. It was only after I finished it that I realised that the gold-plated rocailles are what can only be termed 'delicate' - after quite a lot of gnashing of teeth, I found myself having to remake several of the flowers and rosettes because the gold was coming off inside the beads.  In the end, I used the same rocailles but used a painted on substance which is used to preserve and protect artwork and fragile papers - it cannot be seen by the naked eye, and gives a great deal of protection to these delicate beads and also the wirework and original piece of 1980's jewellery; I held my breath whilst I worked with the archival fluid but it worked out just fine.

I've been working on new and fresh items for the relaunch of my tiara site, 'Tiaraonline' and the relaunch has been in the works for months and months - this piece took me the best part of a week to make, so progress is slow but I think that's ok as I feel its important to have good work to display and offer for sale when it does launch.  I anticipate it will be up and running in about three to four weeks.
It's a fairly substantial piece of hair jewellery, which I imagine worn in alice-band fashion though I tried it out and it can be worn as a conventional tiara too - there are loops at the back of the frame so it can be pinned into place, but I find that my handmade flexible frames tend not to need securing in that way.  I can't wait to see photos of the bride who eventually wears this.

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