Our first project with Larry McQueen, the owner of The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design was to recreate a pendant from the movie “Gaslight”. Continue reading “Re-Creative Victorian Pendant from the Movie “Gaslight” at Disney”
Creating Moodboards are essential in the creative design process. Whether you are designing jewelry or gorgeous costumes… Continue reading “Designing Mood Boards — Terry Dresbach”
When I first started designing re-creative jewelry… Continue reading “Satine’s Necklace from Moulin Rouge”
Anne Boleyn’s Earrings from series, The Tudors:
I was asked to re-create Anne’s earrings using this image from the show The Tudors. Needless to say I was delighted. What fun, to make something with pearls and gold…
I am sharing this because I know some of you are fans of Downton Abbey and The Young Victoria (a project I had the fortunate opportunity to work on). This is reblogged from GIA, Carlsbad, CA , a wonderful resource for jewelry information. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. This is the type of work I love to do. KLH
Downton Abbey is one of the most popular shows on television, and its authentic costumes and jewelry are part of its charm. Continue reading “The Jewelry of Downton Abbey”
Anyone? After re-creating this beautiful brooch, I am still hooked on finding the original star sapphire. Just for kicks. So if anyone reads this or knows of someone that can help please let me know. Thanks. Kathleen
If only Carole Lombard was with us now. We would ask her what happened to this incredible “goose egg” of a star sapphire.
We can only speculate where it might be, but perhaps someone that reads our blog will tell us that they have this fabulous star sapphire locked up in a bank vault.
Three gorgeous pieces of jewelry were re-created for Larry McQueen, the owner of The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design and presented to the Academy. These pieces and the costumes from his collection were on exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, for more details see the article below.
What: Hollywood Costume Exhibit
Where: The Historic Wilshire May Company Building
Location: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile
Unlike some years, I’ll remember fondly how I kicked-off 2015…and that’s in-style. Literally. While most likely spent January 1st curled up on the couch nursing their New Year’s Eve hang-over, we found our way through the easily maneuverable LA streets to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences new home on Wilshire Boulevard. Currently inside the historic Wilshire May Company Building, resides a tribute to Hollywood history. The caveat is that this history is told through fabric and shoes, handbags and hats.
Hollywood Costume creates the rare opportunity of introducing movie-lovers to the iconic wardrobe worn by some of the most legendary actors to ever grace the big screen. The exhibition highlights over 150 costumes spanning the Golden Age of Cinema (the late 1920s) to the present day. Its aim is not only to allow the costumes themselves to step out…
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Sometimes when you least expect it you get lucky.
While attending a lecture at the Getty, Designing Victoria: Visual Sources for Historical Costume by costume designer, Sandy Powell, I found a beautiful Sapphire laying on the stage floor. I grabbed it like any jewelry designer would.
Re-Creative Jewelry for The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design
For the past several years I have had the pleasure working with Larry McQueen, owner of the Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design.
This collection of film costumes is one of the finest private collections of its kind in the world and consists of costumes worn in films from 1920 to present. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum just to name a few. He is an amazing curator and collector!
The following post covers the projects that we created together. Each project shows the initial image from the film, the completed re-creative jewelry and the final project on exhibit.
For more information on the creative process, click on each project headline, the link will take you to the full design story. Thank you for your interest!
Hollywood Costume Exhibit was on exhibit at the historic Wilshire May Company building, the future home for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Los Angeles. Originally, organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), this exhibition explores costume design as an important part of cinematic storytelling.
Here are two of our projects on display.
After many days of refining design details, soldering, polishing and setting crystal gemstones, the complex brooch finally come to fruition. The emerald and diamond star brooch that was seen in movies like “Ada” and “Valley of the Dolls” was finally finished.
In the following series of pictures we will share the finishing processes needed to complete the Re-Creative Jewelry brooch for our client, Larry McQueen.
Susan Hayward’s dazzling brooch can be seen now at the Hollywood Costume Exhibition in LA. October 2 to March 2, 2015.
Counting and placing diamonds or crystals for this design project is painstaking slow work. We selected varies sizes of crystals ranging from 1mm – 4mm to re-create the Pave style setting for Susan Hayward’s Star brooch.
Having created the initial design drawings for the brooch on the computer enabled us to have the flexibility of getting the design exactly the way we waited without moving an actual gemstone. A wonderful time saver in the gemstone layout process.
Using the print-outs from the computer we overlaid them onto the wax carving and hand drilled the location of each stone. Once complete we removed the paper and proceeded to shape and size the openings to fit each crystal specified. The better the wax carving the less time you will spend in metal during the finishing process.
Next step was to ship them off to our casting company. Each component is sprued to a “tree” then placed in a flask, plaster is poured into the flask, dried then burned out in an oven, leaving the hallow forms to be filled with liquid metal. The end product will be yellow bronze castings. We selected yellow over white due to the fact that yellow casts better then white in details castings like our star brooch.
Finding an emerald cabochon within our budget was not possible. Even a good Chatham emerald eluded our means. So my client Larry McQueen searched the internet and found a vintage glass cabochon that looked like it was made for our project. It was a beauty.
Having finalized the drawings the next step was to carve the multi level star brooch in wax. This is our specialty.
One has to be careful not to carve too thin a plate, the casting metals will not flow properly when being cast if the design is too thin and too large. This brooch was one of the largest multi level casting we have ever made.
Shown above: Initial conceptual sketch by Larry McQueen
It is not easy to re-create jewelry from a moving picture. We had very few studio images to work with, and none of them showed the full brooch. So we did our best. We decided to start with developing a conceptual drawing, and once that was approved to move onto finding the emerald cabochon.
Our fourth project with Larry McQueen was for the cult classic film Valley of the Dolls. This movie was based on the novel by the same name written by Jacqueline Susan. Here are a few comments from Mr. McQueen regarding the project.
Larry McQueen, owner of Carole Lombard‘s beaded dress & the re-created “star sapphire & diamond” brooch shared this story. Be sure to read thru and find out how he found this beautiful treasure.
The Jewelry from Season 2-3 Continue reading “Downton Abby at Winterthur”
Adding the Swarovski gemstones went quickly. We decided to channel set the crystal baguettes. We left the setting of the glass “Star Sapphire” to the end.
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.
Here’s our final effect and we are very pleased to see it come together.
Along with Larry McQueen, owner of the Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design we delivered this “star sapphire and diamond” brooch to the Academy in Los Angeles. It is now on exhibit with the “Hollywood Costume Collection“.
The Hollywood Costume Collection Exhibition at the Academy runs from October 2-March, 2 2015. Go see it!
Carole Lombard’s “goose egg” of a star sapphire was an outstanding gemstone. How would we ever find one to represent the lost gem?
After searching for weeks we decided to recreate the gem in glass. Figuring out the size of the sapphire was tricky due to the fact that several of the newspapers reported different carat weights for the star (anywhere from 150-157 carats). We used a gemstone calculator and determined the size of the gemstone from a scaled photograph of the brooch. With our best estimates in diameter and height we were able to come to the agreement that 152 carats was about right.
Carole Lombard’s star sapphire and diamond brooch was a sensational piece of jewelry. The newspapers wrote articles on this incredible design.
Carole Lombard had a love for sapphires. It had been well documented in magazines and newspapers from the 1930’s how she collected sapphires and wore them in several of her movies.
Making a re-created jewelry design for such an incredible Hollywood legend has been journey in itself. When Larry McQueen asked us to re-create this brooch, we were intrigued. He wanted us to remake the brooch that Carole Lombard own and wore in My Man Godfrey without spending the fortune it was worth. The beaded gown would be on exhibit at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Little did we know that between our resources in the East and here in the US there were none to be found that would even come close to the gem she owned. Like the iconic movie star this star sapphire was rare and unique, 152 carats. No one could make us one and no one could find us one. So we had to decide to have the next best thing and commission the creation of a new star.
We contacted a San Diego glass artist that worked closely with us on this challenge, Kathleen Mitchell. Kathleen carefully experimented with glass working over several weeks to create the star we needed.
Here are some of the samples.
What we discovered is that this was REALLY difficult. Image an artist in front of a hot kiln, rolling the glass, adding color and then adding fine threads of glass to create the star. Only thing we could say is that Kathleen Mitchell is a true artist and did a wonderful job.
One always wonders if the shipping company will lose your work on the way or on the return. Not that we are pessimistic but it has happened. Waiting for the pendant to arrive was difficult, patience is not one of my virtues.
So here she is…
“Garbo had left Hollywood and had returned to Sweden when she was coaxed back to play the role of the sometimes cross-dressing queen of Sweden.
Re-Creating Jewelry for Larry McQueen, the owner of The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design has been one of the most challenging projects in our studio to date. Continue reading “Jewelry Installation at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences”
We cast the pieces in yellow bronze. Clean up was very easy in metal because our wax work was done so nicely.
We soldered the components on the backplate in several steps. The assembled pendant was prepped and ready to ship to the plating company.
We prefer to carve the design models in wax. Using solid blocks of dark purple wax we carve each design element until every detail is perfect. Each wax carving is taken to the highest finish possible.
For us better waxes means less work in metal. It also gives our clients the opportunity to see the pendant in 3-d before we cast it in metal.
We have been working with a wonderful casting company in Northern California for almost 15 years. They do beautiful castings in a variety of metals. The day we finished carving was one of the hottest days of the summer. And I worried that the waxes might be affected by the summer heat during transportation, but the gods were with us and they arrived intact.
To cast in the lost wax method, waxes are carefully attached or sprued to a treelike structure of wax that will eventually provide paths for the molten casting material to flow and for air to escape. The carefully planned spruing usually begins at base with a wax “cup,” which is attached by wax cylinders to various points on the wax models.
The sprue is not hollow, as it will be melted out later in the process. Shown below are you will find our waxes sprued to the trees. This is done right before they are placed in a flask and made ready for the plaster pour.
How fortunate we are to be located so closely to GIA, better known as Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, is a nonprofit gem research institute dedicated to protecting the public by providing education and objective, unbiased gem evaluations.
One of the most challenging re-creative jewelry projects we ever worked on was the pendant for Greta Garbo in the movie Queen Christina.
When you get the package back from the plating company, I always take a deep breath and hope that it looks like the real thing.
I prefer to make jewelry in the metal of choice and not to plate my designs. However, sometimes the project parameters require plating. I opened the box and was delighted to see a beautiful product. A beautiful job on the two tone plating.
This was the start of a new adventure for me. Shortly after this project I was commissioned to re-create three new and different pieces. A brooch for Carole Lombard, a pendant for Greta Garbo and a brooch for Susan Hayward.
The Ingrid Bergman pendant was a huge challenge for us in many ways. Locating a historical pendant, similar in design, on-line was a huge gain for us. Next we developed the design details and presented a design story board for client approval.
I knew from my historical research that jewelry from the Victorian time period, was made in precious and in non-precious metals. So we decided to review our options for materials. Our budget dictated that we go with brass and plate it to look like gold.
After spending hours searching thru on-line auction houses and antique jewelry sites, I finally found a pendant that shows many of the details I need to know before I can start my drawings.
Starting a project where you are asked to re-create something unique, from the past and which is now no longer in existence is totally exciting.