Arms Coronets

Red Coronet This coronet was based on the headdress worn by Saint Dorothy in Fashionable Beauty, by the Master of the Rottal Epitaph. I was intrigued by her headdress, which appears to be formed of twill beadwork, and thought that it would be nice to have something similar.

I started construction of my headdress by making two tubes of twill beadwork, worked in translucent red beads, each measuring the circumference of my head. I joined the ends of each tube together to form two rings, and then stitched the rings together along their length. Next I laid a single strand of opaque black beads into the groove between the rings. To finish the piece I attached six fake pearls spaced equally around the circumference, so that my headdress would serve as a SCA Baronial coronet.

While the headdress in the painting appears to be lined I chose to leave my coronet unlined, leaving the natural flexibility of the twill beadwork intact. This flexibility is very handy, as it allows me to wear the coronet with a variety of hairstyles and veil arrangements of varying thicknesses.
Laurel Wreath For my Laurelling ceremony, a friend made me a wreath from antique paper leaves. This wreath was beautiful, but also very fragile, so I needed something more durable for everyday wear. Finding some lovely leaf shaped beads in a catalog, I decided to make a beaded laurel wreath.

I started by cutting 4-inch lengths of fabric covered florist wire. Unfortunately the only fabric covered wire I could find was white, and I wanted my wreath to be entirely green. So I used a fabric marker to color the wire green across the middle third of each length. Threading a piece of colored wire through each leaf bead, I folded the wire in half at the bead and twisted the ends to firmly hold the bead in place. With each leaf bead now attached to a "stem" of wire, I formed a branch of leaves by twisting the stems around eachother, adding leaves to alternate sides as I worked my way along. I formed two branches of leaves in this manner, with each branch measuring about two inches shorter than half the circumference of my head. Next I joined the two branches together, interlocking the wire stems firmly. To cover the large amount of white wire forming the bulk of the branches, I wrapped them with lengths of green silk ribbon. A small amount of stem peeks out from the ribbon at each leaf, but these areas of stem are formed from the portion of the wire that was colored green with the marker. As I started wrapping the ribbon at the tips of the branches, the two lengths met at the join between the branches. There I tied the ribbon off and left streamers, which hang down from the back of the wreath when worn.

I wear the wreath in two different ways. When worn with a veil as shown here, I pin the wreath in place. When worn without a veil, I make use of a small loop of brown thread that matches the color of my hair. With the thread loop joining the tips, the wreath is closed into a circle which will stay on my head. But the brown thread disappears into my hair and is nearly unnoticeable.

© 2001 Jessica I. Clark
Permission to print a copy for your own use freely given. Please contact me for permission to reprint or distribute.
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