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.
Hollywood CostumeExhibitwasonexhibitatthe 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.
The yellow bronze castings came back to the studio and we were very pleased with the work. We then shipped it out to the plating company for a rhodium finish.
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.
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.
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.