Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pink and sapphire zibellino

Not bad for a first try if I do say so myself.  I want to figure out how to give it a better polish and work with the ears a bit more so it isn't quite so "mouse looking" (as my 8 year old tells me.) On the whole, though, I'm pretty happy with it.

I still want to try doing some pewter casting of bits for the girdle and the drop to attach it, but I settled for a purchased finding for now since the month disappeared into carving and I just plain ran out of time.

The muzzle is made from bronze colored foil tape, and I wrapped some blue crystals in the tape to give it the look of actually being set.  I am really thrilled with the effect.  May have to do it to more beads for clothing decoration in the future.
I'm sorta kinda toying with the idea of seeing if I can get some jet and try carving that.  There are zibellinos in inventories made from that.  Most notable is an ermine with a jet head in Mary Queen of Scott's belongings.  Jet is apparently very soft to carve, but can be difficult to take detail since it can break.  It'd be an entirely different experience.  The black would certainly be a contrast to the soft pink of the rose quartz.  Also, and this is sort of rather nifty, jet is available to find in Utah.  It is not the highest quality of jet, but I'm not the greatest carver, so who knows if I'll notice.


  1. It looks amazing! I love it! I have all kinds of questions bout how you put it together. Did you end up cutting off the head of the fur or it is stuffed in somehow? What is holding it onto the fur? Is it very heavy for an item meant to be carried or worn on a girdle belt?

    I vaguely remember hearing from a class at Estrella ages ago that Jet was popular for viking beads because it's so light (it really does have the weight of equivalent beads made from plastic), which makes me wonder how it would compare to the heavier quartz and metals for something as large as a zibbie head. Jet is also rare enough to be *really* expensive, supposedly, so best of luck on that front finding some :).

    Once again, you've outdone yourself.

  2. I did cut off the head of the fur. Then I gathered the fur on an upholstery thread using a glovers needle. I cut a groove into the back end of the head and there is a bit of an extension past that. I drew the thread tight and wrapped it around a few time, settling the fur into the groove. I added some glue just for security. Then the collar is over that to hide the join and add additional strength.

    It is slightly heavier than a polymer clay head of the same size, but not outrageously so.

    Thank you!