looking into jewelry making

So I spent all of Saturday wiring small filigree pieces for my Amalia of Cleves ensemble. I was thinking of taking the velveteen off and putting brocade on, but then I may as well go whole hog and make the frock described by Hall for Anna. I have very big glass pearls to potentially work for the decoration. (I spend all day yesterday asleep because I totally forgot my body is in the chronic phase of my disease which means it’s a bit sneakier.)

I made the pieces match the rest of the pieces I had already made. I have run out of flowers but have a few different kinds.

And that is a smaller gold borstlap made more rigid I think it will be fine over my current front lacing leibchen/mieder/ and will work with a side lacing version too.


I’m finding more and more information to understand their clothing- most of which support of my theories- some were a bit out there but I seem to have been right :). In the mean time also better understanding about Cranach so that I can get that part of The Frazzled Frau back. (I have a cunning plan- it changes a little but I think I have it 🙂

Anyway. I am loving the pieces, and how I matched them, and stylistically they would pass with maybe a few “where did you get that from” if people got close. But ultimately I like them.


But I now have a really good feel for the scrolling shapes of the style, and have a few pieces that can mix and match. So I think it’s time to actually sculpt. And I may even be able to try something else that I think is very needed.

I think lost wax is the most appropriate method so that means making a silicone mold after sculpting so that I can reproduce them.


I want to do this part myself but will need help with the molding process as I do want these in metal so as to feel the same as the original- possibly be the same as many originals. If you ever go on ebay- take a look at the small metal findings of brass and bronze rings. There are so many they are actually affordable for collecting now.

I have my own small bronze seal that appears to have a squirrel on it.


Also I was going to do this in 3D. And I may still. I wasn’t sure how to do scrolling and petal shapes. Well okay actually I do know. I can do the basics in Sketch up and detail in  But I do know how to carve wax to those shapes.


And it’s very exciting. But it means getting all my research up as I go or no one will know why I’ve done something the way I did.



a walk and rest

It has been an amazing few hours! Since my last post I have had a windfall of luck in finding more keys to unlocking my Cleves project! A book arrived that includes information about Anna and Amalia and in there was a footnote about a triptych. The triptcyh I have been looking for without knowing what to look for. The triptychon der Rosenkranzbruderschaft, the 1528 one not the actually well published 17thc one! This triptyich has the ruling family in full. And attendants behind them. After years of finding paintings of citizens it has been very hard to find portraits of the nobility.

This is the only online image!

Anna is in the yellow gown, Amalia in the reddish pinkish gown. This picture alone confirms a few theories I have had as well as supports some documentation I have held onto and not shared because I had zero frame of reference!

But my book also includes a small list of items for the laundry, including a lot of garments for the head, but not only is the transcription good, there is a photo of the list from the document!!!

On the next page is what I think is her inscription in the song book (which I also have a full copy of so should be able to find it) and it confirms my suspicion about the use if ij and y in this location at this time. Which means even more ways to look for information but it also makes it hard as most transcriptions of documents are slightly modernised.

So then from this book I went looking at other books, and have the exhibition catalogue that includes a photo of the triptych and more. And I also found another copy of the inventory that got lost in the mail- I have no idea how the book worked its way out of the packaging but I got a little envelope with my invoice which was very battered.

And then I found a free catalogue from early 1900s with more lists of paintings I probably won’t find easily.

And.. oh yes. I will bring back The Frazzled Frau. Already started as a series of pinterest boards as it is honestly a very easy to maintain visual database of images. I do try to find the original in all my pins, but occasionally wind up linking to the nearest best option.


Anyway. With this new information I am indeed going to work on my accessories this weekend. This means I need to rest and repair my hands as well as get a little exercise to make up for the inactivity of trawling through archives for a good few days. Well months. Years in total but a walk can only do so much.


But now I can be really pretty darn sure that my investment in my projects is in the right direction!

cleves headgear

I still need to do some tidying, and I am definitely making a few more of these, so it’s not totally complete right now. I need to sit it slightly further forward too.


(Wearing my Kimmy Schmidt cardigan because it’s so much part of my new me- allowing myself to wear several colours at once.)

I added more pearls yesterday to the embroidery of the pink hat and sewed up the brim.


The seam allowance was caught through all layers with a pick stitch every 2″ which anchored the gathering running stitch into short curves that follow the edge. The prick stitches are nearly invisible on the other side.

The pearls were removed from the frame. I made two more circles of the same heavy duty fusible/shape-forming material to add extra support the pearl platter shape and basted a layer of shot silk to the inner most circle.

Then clipped the extra fabric to the same depth and gathered to create the turn under.This was easy as the support circles kept the shape perfectly.

I bound the edges and trapped the gathers in place. The silk is bias cut. I used to also believe this was fairly wasteful until I started to think like a workshop. Bias is not at all wasteful if you use a short length over several projects.

As an example. The skirt for the gown that this hat is made for used 3m of velveteen for the hem guarding. That is more than I used in the skirt. It is in part because I was cutting on the fly but I kept my seam allowance to a minimum.

But I used three strips of bias tape for the hem facing and about the same for the underskirt. And I have a lot of silk left over.

So, think about how many projects you can use your bias strips for and dedicate a length to that 🙂


The cap was pulled apart a few nights ago during a bit of insomnia and then I got to test a few lengths of brocade.

I decided on a denser piece of the same saree I used originally on this form. And I used the same silk as used in the bias tape to tidy the inside. I do not have any curved needles but I found a cheapie one that could be bent and oh they are perfect for this kind of seam.


The internal part of the headpiece can be of two shapes. This curved edge is seen in both linen and silk versions but I haven’t seen it with the flat cap as well. Only with a fairly pointed piece to put a jeweled strip over.


Sorry for the use of English terms. I don’t want to use terms that come from the area as I’m not convinced we have them correct. All the terms at this point are in a bit of fluidity. i think I’m getting closer and will do a proper run through very soon.