Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Elf Queen: Phase II

My plan for the Warrior Elf Queen antler headdress (seen here and here) was to take the original models to a caster and have them cast in sterling silver. to some unexpected costs, ie: the molds were wicked expensive, I decided that I'd have to do the whole project myself. At first I was worried about this, but I can say now that I'm really happy I did. I learned a lot about the mechanics of casting and this new information will help my design work in the future. So definitely a lemonade moment here.

Anyway... the next step in the process then became making molds of the antlers for lost wax casting.

Here are my babies in the mold frames and getting ready to be covered in two part, pepto-bismol pink, silicone.Actually the pink brick in the pictures holds one of the antlers already. They had to be molded in two separate molds because of their size.

And here's how they came out.
Amazing right? They are so cool. There was a lot of clean-up at this stage but because they are wax it wasn't too hard. I was also able to make some fun modifications to the horns at the same time. The waxes have the same wonderful texture that I was so happy with in the originals and obviously the shape is the same. So I really couldn't be happier.

This week I will be able to make my plaster investment, next week I will pour my first vacuum cast ever, and then I'll have sterling silver antlers. I hope. Cross your fingers for me and check back next week if you want to see how things went.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Marie's Shoes

I knew that making shoes was going to be hard. Let me rephrase that, I thought, I knew making shoes was going to be hard. But really I had no clue how difficult this project was going to be. But in the end it was so rewarding. They turned out just as I envisioned them.
I love construction and engineering and it's a good thing because this project was all about construction and engineering. I wanted every part of this shoe to be special. So I tried to add as many one of a kind details as I could pack into these small shoes. The exterior texture has the feel of a vintage textile, which is exactly what I wanted. I love it. I also gave the sole of the shoes a cute little bird detail. Is it possible to have to many details in a Marie Antoinette shoe? I didn't think so.
And I'm in love with the heels. They were difficult to get right, but I'm glad I redesigned them a couple times and never compromised, because I really love the way they turned out.
The decorative trim is a ribbon flower I found in a fantastic embroidery book, an amethyst and opalized Swarovski crystal, and an amethyst briolette. I'm also designing a little Fleur de lis dangle that I'm really excited about.

I'm so happy with how these little shoes turned out. And if the crown and necklace turn out half as good as these little beauties, this Marie Antoinette set is going to exceed my wildest exceptions.