Roman Diadem

June 2021

This was a commissioned diadem artifact for patron Baroness Kassir Ni Deoraine looking to add to their Roman aesthetic. It combines metal shaping, cutting, and forming, casting, enameling, acid etching, carving all to create a single artifact. Inspired from Roman period designs and elements enhanced to include personalized aspects of the patron and create a unique artifact tailored to the patron’s desire.

Modeled after various sources to provide shape inspiration, I worked with the patron to select a design option that was matching the simple and elegant aesthetic.

Then to personalize it to help identify it with the Patron as befits her station as a Baroness of the Royal court. We chose to incorporate a number of design elements of her arms and her interests.

A central brooch was based from a Roman brooch but enhanced to include the personal device aspects of the patron, as well as the six pearls customary to identify the station as a Baroness.


https://www.ancient-art.co.uk/roman-empire/ancient-roman-bronze-enamelled-plate-brooch/ An elegant Ancient Roman bronze plate fibula or brooch, featuring two bands of insert enamel, the outer band white and the inner dark blue, circling around a central protruding cone and with six outward lugs. Catch plate and original pin to the back

Heraldry of Kassir Ni Deoraine: Argent, in cross four hearts points to center gules and in base a goutte de poix

The hearts were champlevé enameled red using vitreous glass enamel.

The next aspect of personalization for the patron was to include some bears. I chose to use a Roman mosaic depiction of a bear is the inspiration. And a bit reminiscent of a famous story involving three bears, I went through three iterations before it was ‘just right’.

Initially I had thought to cloisonne enamel the bears. But was not happy with the results. The white enamel did not adhere well to the nickel silver back plate and yellowed in contact with the silver wire.

Finally settled on an etched copper, plated silver to create the ‘white’ metallic bears that would represent the fierceness and protection of the hearts and tear of the brooch.

The final step was to assemble the pieces:
The band is nickel silver. Cut, shaped, and sanded to a bright and shiny polish close to mirror. Everything is pinned and soldered on, and glued to provide additional longevity and security of the bonds. The back in covered in removable leather to provide a bit of comfort and padding, (while also hiding ugly solder points).

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