Upon posting this picture on Facebook, I received several requests for an explanation of how I made this “Elvish Crown”, if you will. There was such an interest, so I decided to move this post up sooner than several other projects I had planned on writing about.
In about a month, the new Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is opening in theaters. Needless to say, I am very excited. The Hobbit is one of my favorite books, and I am a huge fan of Peter Jackson productions.
I’ve heard that fans like to sometimes go in costume when they go to a movie opening. I’ve never been to an opening, and even though we aren’t going to the opening showing, we are going on opening day, and I decided I wanted to go all fan-style and show my Middle Earth spirit. 😉
Having done quite a lot of wire jewelry before, I have all the supplies and am very handy with my tools. I thought it would be fairly easy to do something simple, something that looked like one of those gorgeous elven crowns that Galadriel, Elrond, Arwen, and even Legolas wore in the Lord of the Rings.
Step Numero Uno:
Researching Elvish Crowns
My first trepidation on this experience was thoughts about my ability to create complex wirework from scratch. Through years of drawing and jewelry work, I’ve come to know the limits of my skills pretty well, and intricate patterns has been something I’ve never really got a good grasp on. I thought, “Maybe someone’s done this before and they wrote a pattern I can follow or something.”
No such luck. Well, sort of. After several different searches, I found this website where I was able to look at the different sort of crowns this talented lady makes. Through looking at all these different designs, I made some decisions about what kind of crowns I like and don’t like, and how I wanted mine to sit on my head. I was able to see some close up pictures of what I was thinking and it helped me to get a better grasp of structure and design elements. For instance, some crowns go all the way around, and some just go a little past the ears. I decided I didn’t want one that went all the way around.
After more searching, I found this website. Although it is rather behind on internet standards, buried underneath the old design, I found some extremely helpful information about how to go about making these things. One lady had posted a pattern she had made for Galadriel’s crown. It looked way more intricate than I was thinking of, but I decided to go ahead and download the pattern to see if I could possibly make my own.
Looking at this lovely hand-drawn pattern, I immediately felt better about trying to design my own. I got out my graph paper and went to town.
Designing My Own Elvish Crown Pattern
*I apologize in advance for some gaps. I neglected to take process pictures, but I’ve done my best to replicate enough of the process in the pictures I took to give a sense of what I’m doing.*
First I measured my head with a fabric tape measure, roughly measuring how far I wanted it to go around my head. I could see that this was what the lady who made the pattern above did. I knew this part was important because I have a large head and soooo much hair. (I have a hard time finding hats that fit me.)
Marking out the inches on my paper (or counting out the approximate lengths in graph squares, whichever you prefer), I set up the area for my pattern. Since this is a symmetrical pattern, you only need to design one half of the pattern. Making 2 duplicates of the same pattern will give you two halves of the crown. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, my head measurement from behind ear to behind ear was 16″, making my pattern length 8″.
Then I drew light lines with a ruler, giving me various other guides for height. I decided on the arbitrary measurement of 1 1/2″ wide at the widest point (the middle of the forehead) and 1″ wide everywhere else. I also drew light lines lengthening the inch markings so I would be able to see them through the entire height of the pattern.
Now comes the fun part! Starting with the middle design element of the loop in the Galadriel’s Crown pattern, I started sketching. I used the inch marks to make everything symmetrical and even.
This is my finished pattern. I finished the sketch by deciding which wires would go on top and which one underneath at every intersection. It was a good thing I did this at this stage. It would have been a nightmare to try and figure out with the actual wires in my hand. I used that aspect as a reference more than any other part of the pattern.
In my next post, read about how my pattern translated in the actual wire work, and the major problems I had before succeeding. Sort of. 😉