Sculpture of horseshoe pin ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

I needed to fabricate some jewelry for the life size sculpture of Fannie Mae Duncan. She was known to wear a double horseshoe pin as well as a large Native American bracelet and ring and ornate earrings. The original jewelry was no longer available and there were not clear photos of the jewelry so it was up to me to make jewelry that would look similar to what she wore but that was also something that could be cast in bronze. That means there needed to be no voids behind the bracelet or earrings so that it cast as part of the overall figure and would be permanent and secure. While these things could be welded on, that could present problems with breakage or vandals in the future so casting as an integral part of the larger sculpture as a whole is the safest bet. Of course that means strategic planning and sculpting to make something appear separate when, in fact, it is not. So just as in the toe clips on the shoes, I am sure to back-fill behind all the jewelry.

I made the pin using gray polymer clay that I imbedded rhinestones into and baked so that it was hard. I glued a pushpin onto the back so that I could secure it to the lapel and then backfilled behind it with additional clay. This will keep the pin secure while the mold is being brushed on.

I also made the bracelet from polymer clay and again pinned it to her wrist. To make the bracelet clasp I took some aluminum armature wire and measured and cut 6 equal pieces. Then I used a hammer and a flat piece of metal and flattened the round wire.

Making jewelry for the sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

Then I bent the wires into shape following the curve of the arm. After placing the 6 wires (three on each side) I secured and backfilled with clay and refined the arm around them. For the ring I twisted some strands of thin copper wire to made a braid. I then cut the braid and bent it into an oval and filled with a clay “turquoise” stone and also added a flattened wire for the ring band.

Fabricating jewelry for Fannie Mae Duncan Sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

The earrings were a bit more complicated. I found a single round earring of mine and making a mold of it I cast two in Forton to be the top section of the earrings that would go on the earlobes. Then, after searching several craft supply stores I found a suitable tear drop shape jewelry fitting that I could use for the dangling part of the earring. I painted these four components the color of the clay to keep them from being distracting while I work. I glued pins to the backs of all of them and secured them to the sculpture. Then I went back and backfilled behind the earrings with clay hair so that they appear to hang freely when in fact they are part of the hair mass.

Fannie Mae Duncan sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

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