Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hairpin trials

After looking at pictures of extant pins, I decided  I really liked both the bodkin style of pin and the monogram style. I also decided I was too impatient to wait for my pewter, soapstone, and other casting supplies to arrive. So, scrounging and modifying other things became the plan.

I was a little worried about doing monograms as I've been considering changing my persona name.  I solved that by picking a second name just in case. The choice I'm looking at is Greek (so I can do both the Italian and Rus a little more easily with a culture that bridges the gap.) I'd be switching from Praksedys Turova doch' to Praxilla Taurinae. Either way the initials are the same and the surname means "Daughter of Bull." Conveniently, P and T rank right up there with X and Q for popularity and I found some silver charms on clearance for 50 cents a piece. I rolled some thin sheet metal as if doing an aiglet for the pin part. The charms slightly overlap one another to emulate the look of the Catherine de Medici C's. T's are, unfortunately, not very successful at interlocking. I do like the back to back P's though. 

To do the bodkin style pins, I turned a bad purchase to good use.  I had bought some vintage "serving spoons" in a pattern I loved. What they actually are is a demitasse spoon. They're tiny. Only about 4 inches long. As I don't collect spoons they were not doing me much good. They did have the look of the bodkin to them though, so I clipped off the bowl of the spoons with aviation snips and took the grinding attachment of my Dremel tool to them. I was a bit concerned that the ornament would be a problem catching in my hair and the short length an issue. I tried them out before gilding them and was pleased when a single pin was able to hold my bun in place for several hours. The bottom segments were sufficiently smooth to not get tangled in my hair and the points sharp enough.

I took a bit of spray paint to all 6 pins to prime them, and then went back in with a brush on one stage gold leaf. First hair pin trials seem to be a success. I have several more spoons that might get sacrificed and I might try some of the other styles as well. I'm still also considering painting the initials a bit to approximate the enamel of the inspiration, but I like the plain gold quite a bit.


  1. Now I need to find some awesome spoons!

  2. They are pretty easy to come by. The brand name Montagnani will turn up quite a few on ebay as will Italian silver spoon.

    I really think carving out own soapstone molds and pouring some with our heraldic badges is going to be totally worth the time and effort.