Bails for my homemade pendants

Heart-shaped pendant, with bail

Heart-shaped pendant, with bail

In my previous post, I discussed that I made my own bails for the pendants for my necklace project. A while ago I tested out this with sheet metal (coated copper) and showed the results in this post. My silver arrived, so I used similar steps with the silver as I had done with the coated copper.

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New Viking-style swag

New Viking-style swag

New Viking-style swag

Not too long ago, I placed an order for some sweet new swag for my Viking-Age kit.

It all started when I gave away my favourite Icelandic wolf-head Thor’s Hammer at an event to someone who admired it and mourned the loss of one of his own. I had a few, though when I got home I realized they were a bit different… and I felt a bit uneasy about no longer having the one I really liked.

This meant… I needed to order another one.

…and that led… to shopping!

I picked up three bracelets/cuffs in a torc/torque style with animal heads (wolves and a dragon) and a number of pendants in bronze and pewter.

torc / torque-style animal-head bracelets/cuffs

torc / torque-style animal-head bracelets/cuffs

Two of the bracelets are ‘mens’ sized – and are quite thick. The other is a ‘female’ bracelet, and is much lighter and more delicate. I couldn’t decide between the wolf-head terminal cuff and the dragon-head, so I bought the wolf in ‘male’ and ‘female’, and the dragon in ‘male’.

Viking-style pendants

Viking-style pendants

I haven’t yet looked into the design these two pendants are based on, though I think the round one is similar to the Pitney Brooch. More research is needed here – though if you happen to see this and know… and can save me a step – that would be awesome – please leave a comment below!

Close up of some of the pendants

Close up of some of the pendants

Along with the Icelandic wolf-head hammer, I picked up a hammer in the style of the Gotland eagle/bird head hammer, a figure of Freyr, two Freya pendants, and two different ravens (one of which I recognize… but again I need more research here to see which ones these are based off.)

Now – I just need to find some beads and things to string these up on!

Third Lunula pendant

Finished Bird Lunula made from shrink plastic

Bird Lunula made from shrink plastic after baking and shrinking (larger than life!)

 

Since I was quite happy with the results of my first & second Lunula pendants, I decided to make a third, a bit more elaborate.

I started with inspiration from a Pinterest pin – which included three different Lunulae – and I chose the more complicated and detailed of the three. Of course, so much of Pinterest leads to Tumblr.. and Tumblr is like the wild-west of copyright violations and lack of credit/attributions… so I had no idea of the original source.

After I had already made my version though, and was just wandering around the web… I found what I think might be the original source – or at least a website selling the item pictured on Pinterest. Visit the “Slavik Paganism” page of Dragonscale.com if you’d prefer a metal (Bronze or Sterling Silver) version to my plastic one… (I would!)
Dragonscale.com describes the design as:

Bird Lunula – Also called a lunitsa – Crescent moon shaped woman’s charm found in ancient Slavic and Norse cultures – shaped in the double bird image found in Scythian art – a reproduction of one found in a 8th century burial in Nitra-Lupka, Poland”

 

The bird lunula before shrinking

The bird lunula before shrinking

Like my previous shrink plastic projects, I used Grafix brand matte shrink plastic which starts as transparent and shrinks down to white in colour. I traced the design to both sides of my plastic and used black, bronze, and silver Sharpie markers. I didn’t sand the plastic before colouring, and found that large areas of colour weren’t as solid as I wanted.

Since my original Lunulae had short (about 1″) long ‘stems’ which folded over to create the ‘bail’ to attach the pendant to a chain or cord – and the resulting fold over was only enough to go around a toothpick… I made the ‘stem’ substantially longer on this version so it could easily go around a chopstick instead – and thus a larger cord.

Not quite right…

Although the finished shrunk plastic pendant was ok – the colours were nice and bold… I didn’t really feel that it looked metal. Like the other pendants, I opted to emboss this as well, using silver embossing powder.

Pendant covered with embossing powder before knocking off the  excess powder

Pendant covered with embossing powder before knocking off the excess powder

When the pendant was re-shaped and embossed, I decided to scratch some of the design back into the pendant, which I’m kind of fond of, though I might need to live with it for a while before knowing if it’s ‘right’.

Copper pendant along with a silver one and  the bird silver embossed pendant.

Copper pendant along with a silver one and the bird silver embossed pendant.

More to come…

I still have a few more projects to share with shrink plastic – so stay tuned! In the mean time if you have some cool inspirational links for shrink plastic – feel free to share them in the comments below!

Some of the shrink plastic projects I've made recently...

Some of the shrink plastic projects I’ve made recently…

 

Hand-made Lunula pendant

Lunula pendant before and after shrinking

Lunula pendant before shrinking and after shrinking

The other day I posted about trying shrink plastic… here’s the first project!

Along with some of the other Viking and Norse-inspired pendants that I’ve been able to find from various sellers, one of the icons I’ve been looking for (without much luck in a price-point I want to spend for a costume piece…) is the Lunula.

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