Hand-Made Penannular Brooch

Hand-Made Penannular Brooch

Hand-Made Penannular Brooch

Before I headed to Victoria, BC, I was keeping my eyes open for a Penannular brooch that I would like to purchase, but in the meantime I thought that I would try to make one of my own. I did end up getting my own ready-made, though I really like the ones I made too!  I’m sure there are better ways of making them, but since I don’t have much metal work experience, working with wire seemed like a good compromise that wouldn’t stress out my skill-set (or my budget!).

Tools:

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Fine-needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Hammer
  • Forceps
  • Mini anvil
  • Cylindrical shaping tool (I used a film canister for my larger one, and a Mr. Sketch marker for the smaller one.)
tools and materials for my Hand-Made Penannular Brooch

tools and materials for my Hand-Made Penannular Brooch

Materials:

  • 16 gauge silver-plated wire (I bought this at the bead store)

Technique:

I made this brooch twice – once larger, and once smaller. On the first version I did  it a bit differently, but the second time I thought worked better, so here’s what I did:

  1. Cut a length of wire for the brooch, and another for a pin. Both can be trimmed if needed later, so cut a little longer if you’re not sure.
  2. For the brooch I shaped the wire around a cylindrical object (I used what was handy) overlapping the ends
  3. Using the very small needle-nose pliers I shaped one of the ends into a loop, and set the brooch aside for the moment.
  4. For the pin, I curled one end into a ring, which will go around the brooch.
  5. The other end I shaped into a point by hammering it and turning the wire. I found holding the pin with forceps helped a lot to hammer the wire – and not my fingers! (Especially with the smaller brooch.)
  6. I also hammered the length of the pin to work-harden it and retain the flat, straight shape.
  7. Before sliding the pin onto the brooch, I hammered the wire to work-harden it, shape it, and shape the ring.
  8. Next I slid the pin onto the brooch, and repeated the loop on the other side of the brooch.
  9. Finally I hammered the brooch (sections at a time, avoiding the pin) to flatten the loops and work-harden the wire into the nearly-a-circle shape.
Hand-Made Penannular Brooches

Hand-Made Penannular Brooches

Inspiration:

Before I made my versions, there was a tutorial I found on Pinterest which recommends #6 copper wire for plumbing plus a brass braising rod.
However, I have also pinned this one from Deviant Art which uses a metal ring and Super Sculpty.

 

Viking “roach” brooch at the Saga Museum

Mother figure wearing a folded apron dress held with "roach" shaped brooches

Mother figure wearing a folded apron dress held with “roach” shaped brooches

After seeing the large tortoise (oval/ turtle) brooches from Viking Age finds, I was struck how distinctly different this brooch was, from the Saga Museum in Iceland. The character portrayed is supposed to be a Celtic woman taken as a slave/wife by a Nordic Viking Age man, and taken to Iceland. The brooch is much, much smaller than the other brooches displayed (either the originals as seen elsewhere, or the reproductions in the Saga Museum) an has a pattern, size, and shape that reminded me of a cockroach! (Hence, I’m calling it a “roach brooch” even if that’s not the most flattering name! Continue reading

Viking Armbands – Museum exhibits

From the Saga Museum in Reykjavik

At the Saga Museum in Reykjavik there were several figures wearing armbands/bracelets. Rather than do a post for each of the displays and all of their various elements, I thought I’d organize the photos by the items of interest.

First settlers of Iceland

Armband on one of the figures representing one of the first Icelandic settlers

Armband on one of the figures representing one of the first Icelandic settlers

The first example is one of the figures representing one of the first settlers to Iceland. He has a twisted arm band on what looks like just below his elbow. This band appears to have a large bulb in the middle – similar to another armband that I have a bit better of a photo below.

He also has a bracelet-height arm band worn over his sleeve just above the wrist. It looks like a flatter kind of bracelet – with a stamped or engraved pattern in it.

While the upper arm band looks like a pewter colour, the bracelet-height armband looks like bronze.

The female armband on the wax figures representing the earliest settlers of Iceland in the Saga Museum

The female armband on the wax figures representing the earliest settlers of Iceland in the Saga Museum

The female, above, has a similar kind of below-elbow arm band, which looks like a flat band (not twisted) also with a bit of a decorated bulge.

I wonder if the choice to put them on the arm below the elbow was a deliberate choice, or a matter of where the items they could get would fit on the already-existing wax model over the reproduction clothing? It seems like a good location if using the band to help hold up pushed-up sleeves, but not so much for general wear, where I would think something worn at the bicep would fall less frequently/easily.

(warning, this is an image-heavy post!)

Continue reading

Viking scissors & knives (Saga Museum)

The wax figures representing the earliest settlers of Iceland in the Saga Museum

The wax figures representing the earliest settlers of Iceland in the Saga Museum

I still have lots of photos from the Iceland and the Saga Museum in Reykjavik – I’m trying to break them up thematically, so today I am bringing you some photos of scissors and knives – though like my previous post, it’s a super-short post on the topic, since there weren’t many examples to photograph. I’m focusing entirely on the couple pictured above, who you’ve seen from a few of the previous Saga Museum posts. Continue reading

Viking hammer of Thor necklace at the Saga Museum

child figure at the Saga museum wearing a Thor's hammer necklace

child figure at the Saga museum wearing a Thor’s hammer necklace

I have a super-short post today taking my lovely readers back to Iceland again, and the Saga Museum in Reykjavik.
I was rather pleased to see this young male character’s wax figure wearing a Thor’s hammer (Mjölnir) pendant on a cord. Continue reading

DIY Whipcord / 4-strand braid

My first strand of whipcord

My first strand of whipcord

I mentioned in my red linen apron dress post that I had used some four-strand braid / whipcord on the top edge of the apron dress… well that was AFTER I learned how to make it (of course!) I just am posting these a little backwards.

I also mentioned whipcord/ 4-strand braid in my previous post, where I had a bunch of different links for instructions/etc.  Well – here’s the results! Continue reading