Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Wire Wrapped Crown fit for the Queen!!

And the Queen's Crown is finished!! The big project of the summer has been creating a wire wrapped crown for the Queen of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Mission completed and I am so happy... but I have to admit, I'm having separation anxiety now that the crown is in the hands (or on the head) of the Queen! After having it in my studio, and wearing it, I think every woman should have a crown she can put on now and then to be queen for a day. I must admit it is a fun indulgence, I never would have imagined!

This project was the most challenging one I have ever taken on. I have to thank my friend Katie Wallace, costume designer and costume dep't manager for the PA Ren Faire. When she first asked me about doing a crown I thought she was crazy... then I started thinking... and then, before I knew it I was obsessed with figuring it out! Katie is always pushing me to create bigger and better pieces, and this was the ultimate challenge!!!

The gown Katie designed and created with her team is absolutely stunning. Adding the hours in the crown and the gown we figure there's a 1000+ hours of labor and design time invested. The gown is all handmade, encrusted with Swarovski jewels and custom embroidery, it is really something to see. When it all came together we couldn't help but get a bit weepy.

The crown started with fabric swatches, a pile of wire, a dozen Swarovski Jewels, rough sketches, pliers, cutters, reading glasses, ready hands, and lots of determination. 200+ hours later, over the course of 2 months, it was all transformed into a magnificent crown. I could write a book about it all, it was quite a journey, one that included poking myself in the eye for the first time in my career. I don't plan on doing that again any time soon!

There are zero "cheats" ...this crown is 100% hand made... no glue, no solder, no power tools... just skilled hands, wire, jewels, and pearls. I think I am most proud of how comfortable it is on the head and that it really reflects me and my style of wire wrap. When you see it you know it was made by me. I'm looking forward to making another one... after wearing it, I need one too!! I will definitely be dabbling with new crown ideas and designs in the future.

Thank you Katie and thank you to the PA Renaissance Fair for bringing me on the create this piece for you.


  1. A gorgeous piece, and so in sync with the costume! I hope you do write a book about making it. I'd certainly but it!

  2. I am at a loss of words! Exquisite. I never say that word but it popped in my head when I saw this piece. It was a challenge that you met and then some!!

  3. My jaw dropped when I see this, this is absolutely gorgeous!! May I please feature this in my blog please?


  4. Such beautiful jewelry, it look outstanding and charming .I love your creativity and the idea of a concept.

  5. The crown is glorious! Totally splendid. It will look fabulous on the queen :)