I spent a good part of October trying to make myself a comb after I gave up the idea of finishing my book of sonnets (which is still progressing, if very slowly.) I found and fell in love with this 16th century Italian ivory comb at the Met.
cast gold decorations (these are often liturgical combs,)some carving and inlay, or are just plain. Getting the two sided comb with variated teeth is something I have not managed quite yet. The first attempt at that was rather sad.
After looking at a couple of tutorials, I tried shaping the wood so it was more of a wedge shape tapering to a point at the edge of the teeth. Splitting it worked well for this. It worked really well, but I have not figured out how to taper the top and the bottom in order to do the double sided comb. I used a carving knife rather than a saw, and I clamped the blank in place so it wasn't sliding about. That got me a nice little comb. I think its a good start, but I have to figure out how to get the correct shape. Since I'd spent more than a month on it and not finished the Realm of Venus Idle hands Competition I just wanted to finish something before I gave in to discouragement. Therefore, I moved on to painting.
The ivory Italian comb has plants and animals painted on it front and back. The description also states that it has a heart enflamed in the center of one side. I decided to use my krin heart in the center, paint the floral and vine design from the bottom and to add some birds. I've always loved peacocks and with the color scheme of my dress it seemed natural. I based the shape on this window design from Packwood House in Lapworth, UK. the house is dated from the 16th century. The peacocks also bear a resemblance to those in Byzantine illuminated manuscripts, so they seem a bit Rus flavored, making my persona happy. I inked the design in, added a bit of color with gouache, gilded it a bit with some gold leaf, and then went back in with some more black ink. Its sealed with olive oil and beeswax since its intended for use in my hair. I tried it out yesterday and it combs rather well, even standing up to some rather nasty knots and a bit of candy cane tangled and stuck in my hair thanks to my twins.