Brooch for my horned headdress

Horned Headdress with the veil hanging behind a bit too much

Horned Headdress with the veil hanging behind a bit too much

Near the end of my post about my 15th century horned headdress I mentioned that one of the embellishing items would be a large brooch.

Well, here’s the post about that brooch!


Most of the paintings showing this style of hat shows it adorned by a large central jewel/brooch/etc. Once my hat was nearly done, I dug into my costume jewelery, but button box, my jewelery supplies.. and nothing really felt RIGHT. I figured instead I would need to make/assemble something.

I picked out three different styles of brooches for my research, the first is German, circa 1500, the second is French, circa 1468-70, and the third was either German or French, circa 1363-1423, all worn with similar headdresses. I didn’t try to copy the shapes exactly, but tried to make something that would come close. The one I ended up using (the one on the left in the photo below) is very close to what I thought the French 1468-70 one looked like.



3 different brooches, with my super-rough sketch for shapes

3 different brooches, with my super-rough sketch for shapes

I ended up making 3 brooches at the same time, all in the same general method using oven-bake clay, gold leaf, and alcohol inks. My original intention was to layer a glass cabochon on top of the clay, however the clay shrunk by just enough that the cabochon no longer looked “right” once the clay was baked. I instead opted to fill the cavity that would have been filled with the glass with “Dimensional Magic” which dries clear and I hoped would look enough like enamel.

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Once the clay baked, I put on the gold leaf size, then spent a while fussing around with applying the gold leaf. From there I sealed the piece, and then painted in alcohol inks for the cavity. On one of them I dripped a bit of ink outside of the cavity, so had to clean that up with some rubbing alcohol. A bit of the colour still exists, but it’s ok.

Once the alcohol was dry, I filled the cavity in with Dimensional Magic, which took forever it seemed to dry.. but eventually it was, and I glued a brooch back to the back of the brooch.

At the event, my pin broke… but a friend grabbed some floss and fixed it up for me – I’ll need to fix it before wearing again!



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