Carole Lombard Star Sapphire Brooch | at the Maker’s Bench

Shown above is a detailed image of the glass “gem” and the bronze casting. I always polish my waxes before they are cast. This eliminates the need for the hard labor of finishing the casting in metal. Polishing it produces a beautiful casting – almost ready to be taken directly to the polishing wheel.

Once the pieces were soldered and finished we prepped them for plating. You cannot plate metal if the stones are set. Once the brooch was plated we then could start setting the gems.

Adding the Swarovski gemstones to the metal brooch went quickly. The next step was to channel set the crystal baguettes.

Shown above is the rhodium finish bronze in the process of being set with the gems

Creating the “star” effect was the most difficult part in making this piece. We had tried several methods from engraving the star on the backplate in the brooch to painting the star effect behind the glass gem. We ended up painting a star on a thin piece of film that was inserted behind the glass “gem” and the back plate.

You can see the film insert to the left of the blue glass “gem”. This was painted to look like a star, then placed between the gem and the backplate

To see what the star looks like in real life click here: Carole Lombard Brooch-Kathleen Lynagh Designs-short film clip




brooch in a presentation box
The next step was to present our work at the Academy of Motion Pictures in LA

Along with Larry McQueen, the owner of The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design we delivered this “star sapphire and diamond” brooch to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles.



5 thoughts on “Carole Lombard Star Sapphire Brooch | at the Maker’s Bench

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    1. Star sapphires were very popular after the WWI and up to the late 40’s. Mostly the movie stars wore them. They were purchased for a good price from European Aristocracy fleeing Europe after the war. They need funds and the stars needed big bling. You could buy a huge gemstone for a great deal less then a faceted gemstone. And the star gemstones looked beautiful on screen. Each major star had their signature gemstone. Carole Lombard was know for her star sapphires. We could’t find a star sapphire the size we needed for our piece, so we commissioned a glass artist to complete the work for us.

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