We love sharing the work that goes on behind the scenes in dance and theater and for our clients. One of our favorite artists/designers is Christine Joly de Lotbiniere of CJDLDESIGN. Whether it be masks, fabric dyeing & painting, tiaras or tutu embellishment (and more), Christine can do it all!
Here is a post Christine did depicting some of the process involved in the making of a Black Swan Tiara that she is creating for a Class Act Tutu client. We cannot wait to unveil the finished product (along with the Black Swan Tutu that is in the works as well). Keep watching!
1. Using a thermoplastic coated synthetic felt, (which starts out flexible and becomes stiffer the more it’s heated) and a heat-gun, I shape the material in a curve. Once it’s formed and cooled I draw the design of the crown. Steel wire is then bent to conform to the design and sewn down by hand.
2. A second layer is formed to mimic the first. This surface layer includes recessed holes which will hold the swarovsky crystals. The design is then traced and cut out with a sharp blade.
3. The second layer is glued down over the first wired one. Multiple pins keep the layers sandwiched together.
4. Fitted onto a custom hammered copper tiara base, which I designed and built to fit the crown, I apply multiple layers of a pigmented wood filler (similar to but without the weight of gesso), sanding between each layer until the desired thickness is reached. I use an assortment of small rasps and files to carve and smooth the shape.
5. I work on the angle of the crown as it sits on the tiara base. This is left to dry/air cure for 2 to 3 days.
6. Size and silver leaf are applied over the crown and a portion of the base.
7. Pigmented varnish is then applied to tint the tiara to a gunmetal color. Swarovsky crystals are then affixed as are custom made jewels and settings. Not complete yet, copper combs will need to be soldered onto the tiara base which then will be wrapped in silk velvet ribbon dyed to match my customers haircolor.
This Black Swan Tiara can be purchased from CJDLDesign.
If you would like to see more of Christine’s design work along with some fun costume, art and fashion posts, view CJDLDESIGN’s Facebook page for more of Christine’s amazing work.
If you are interested in custom tiaras, tutu embellishment or other professional quality costume design contact us.