Side Projects: Kite Brooch, Mokume Ring, and Emergency Ducal Kit

While I was working on Galen's Coronet and my dirty dozen entry, I knocked out a heraldic kite brooch for myself I've been wanting to do for a while and a mokume-style ring... well, because it was there. I also had a last minute request come in for some strawberry leaves.

Not as many pictures here as usual, since I was just making stuff (and panicking to get projects done), not planning a blog post.


A kite brooch is basically a pin with a diamond flap on a hinge. The pin goes in the cloth, a string attached to one side of the brooch comes down, under where the pin exits the fabric and is secured on the other side to hold the brooch in place, and the decorative "kite" swings down over the whole thing to make it pretty. I made this to replace the really basic penannular brooch I was using to secure my brat with something fancier.

The brooch is two layers; a solid backing with the border and fox sawed out then soldered in place on top.

This project gave me a chance to play with the Colores resin (or "cold enamel") kit I got a while back. The color I used is the sapphire from their gem tones. I did not realize it was going to be that transparent, or I would have cleaned up the patina where I was putting the "socks" on the fox. Lesson learned.

There was some really basic engraving attempted to add detail, but I had no idea what I was doing so they're really more like scratches.

Mokume Ring

While I was waiting on the coronet to get out of the pickle one time, I spotted some scrap stranded copper electrical wire I used to wire up a heater in my garage for the winter. That became this, a pseudo-mokume ring. I say pseudo because I cheated by soldering together wire instead of the traditional way of forging together sheets of metal and flattening them. This shares more similarities with cable damascus which you might see in blacksmithing, where stranded steel cable is forge welded together to create a damascus pattern.

To form the band, the stranded wire was twisted, fluxed, then packed with solder. Once it was fused, it got a few passes through the rolling mill to flatten it out. After that, I soldered a basic bezel on and set one of the spare labradorite cabs I had around from Konstantia's coronet. To finish it, I used a chemical mix called Baldwin's patina to make the pattern stand out. This blend will patina most copper based metals (copper, brass, and bronze) but not silver or nickel silver. 

Emergency Ducal Kit

From what I understand, His soon-to-be-Grace Damien had a ducal coronet on order but found out it would not be ready in time for when he stepped down at coronation. So, I threw together some strawberry leaves that could be crimped on to his existing County coronet to make it more Duke-ish.

This was just some quick sawing out of 22 gauge brass, engraved with a ball burr in a flex shaft (because I suck at push engraving), and wires soldered on the back. I was told they could be really ugly as long as they got the message across, but I have some standards.