February 2002
Volume 3, Issue 2
Medieval Brooch

Adobe Acrobat version

Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | Questions and Answers | Finding Findings | Variations on a Theme | Spaghetti Mokume Gane | Medieval Brooch | Issues in the Crafting World |
Submission Guidelines | Advertising Information | Email Us! | Home
In the spirit of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Count of Monte Cristo, here's a medieval brooch project with which you'll be proud to clasp your cloak closed.

Supplies:

  • gold and black polymer clay
  • 2-inch square template
  • golden acrylic paint
  • fleur-de-lis silk screen or stencil
  • clay gun or garlic press
  • embossing tool or any tool with a small round ball at the end
  • small jewels
  • Translucent Liquid Sculpey
  • blade
  • pasta machine (optional)

I used this brooch, which is a 14th century clasp for a royal cloak, as my model.
Step One:

Roll out gold and black clay in sheets larger than 2 inches by 2 inches.

Step Two:

Place the template on the clay and cut around it. (I used a carpet protector as my template). Cut out both a black square and a gold square.

Step Three:

Using the fleur de lis silk screen (I did one using PhotoEz -- here's the template if you'd like to download it) or stencil, which you can purchase at any craft store, stencil the fleur-de-lis pattern onto the black clay.

Let the paint dry thoroughly.

Step Four:

Using the gold square, cut a 1/4 inch strip from each of the four sides.

Cover the black square with a thin layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey.

Put the gold strips onto the black clay as shown in the picture.

Step Five:

Take some gold clay and form a fleur-de-lis that fits exactly inside the gold box.

I made this fleur-de-lis by rolling an oblong ball, cutting it in half lengthwise (the same way you'd cut a hotdog bun in half), and shaping the center leaf of the top. Then I cut the other half of the oblong ball into two even pieces, and formed them into the side leaves of the top.

I placed a short rectangle beneath the three leaves, then formed a smaller oblong ball and repeated the process above.

Step Six:

To embellish the outside of the square, press evenly spaced indentations into the gold strips with an embossing tool.

Cover the strips with a thin layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey.

Form gold cord by pressing gold clay through a clay gun or garlic press. Lay the cord on the gold strips and cut them so they barely touch at each of the four corners.

Step Seven:

You can choose to embellish now with fake jewels then bake the entire piece according to the clay manufacturer's directions, or bake then add the jewels.

If you bake now, the jewels (mine were plastic) will melt. I like the melted look, so I embellished first and baked second.

The finished pin. Now I have to make a cloak to go along with it.