How I made the Chandelier crown

This morning I was mailing out the gifts for the 2011 annual Birthday contest winners, and I realized that I hadn’t yet announced the third contestant who had guessed one of my current projects! Well, here we go then: The last prize winner of the 2011 contest is  Jon Songserm, who submitted a concept design for a street lamp crown (sketch here), which was very close to my Chandelier crown doll. Thank you again for everybody’s entries. All gifts but the grand prize are in the mail. I will be posting pictures of them for all to see in a couple of days, but in the mean time here is how I made the Chandelier Crown.

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Original concept sketches were made about 2 years ago and put aside for while. No technical consideration or calculations are made: the project is pure idea at this stage.

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December 2010 Chandelier idea is pulled off the shelf and wheels are set in motion for production. Measurements are taken, additional sketches are made, maximum weight and height are worked out, structure is determined and various needed components are identified and designed. The goal is to create the lightest possible piece, without compromising structural integrity or aesthetic. A detailed technical drawing of the most complex part is made and sent off for carving by a computerized mill, as its small scale prohibits successful hand-carving.

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Seven weeks later a wax prototype is carved out and a rubber mold is made for multiple wax injections.

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After all the parts are cast in bronze and silver, they are cleaned, assembled by hand and soldered into a structure.

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The piece is then gold plated with 24k gold and the crystal assembly begins using a nylon cable.

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The details of the design are worked out during assembly.

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Chandelier in the early stage of crystal assembly. The wight increases with each added crystal strand, and as the crown turns more beautiful, it also grows into an almost unbearably heavy monstrosity. In the end 1,800 Swarowsky crystals were used in the final composition.

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Finished chandelier crown for the project titled “The Weight of Light”

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‘The Weight of Light’ happens to be 178 grams in this case.

25 Responses to “How I made the Chandelier crown”

  1. Jayne
    July 24th, 2011 15:34
    1

    Absoutely brilliant! Thank you for detailing the process for us.
    Can’t wait to see the birthday contest winner’s prizes too. :)

  2. noxy
    July 24th, 2011 15:35
    2

    Wow. Just… wow. 1,800 crystals?! Holy jeebus. This is fascinating. Was the final piece weighed? I’d be interested to know how much that lovely doll has to hold atop her head. :)

  3. Marina
    July 24th, 2011 15:38
    3

    178 g

  4. Helewen
    July 24th, 2011 15:53
    4

    As always, it’s fascinating to see your process.

  5. Heather T.
    July 24th, 2011 16:44
    5

    Just absolutely breathtaking. Dizzyingly beautiful.

  6. Christiane (Quebec)
    July 24th, 2011 17:34
    6

    I ran out of words for your work Marina.

    I guess nothing is to big or out of reach for you! Bravo…. -_-

  7. Shiny
    July 24th, 2011 17:36
    7

    She is just amazing! The final picture is so beautiful.

  8. Orangey
    July 24th, 2011 21:16
    8

    You’re a genius. That is incredible, what an accomplishment! I keep thinking how proud one must be to create the things you do, bringing these kinds of concepts to life, and on such a small scale too, great!

  9. Елена
    July 25th, 2011 00:02
    9

    Она потрясающе красива! И я видела это своими глазами.Это тяжелый труд, но результат превосходен. Спасибо тебе, Марина.

  10. Valli
    July 25th, 2011 06:19
    10

    Utterly breath takingly beautiful. Mere words can’t fully convey the awe and wonder I felt seeing this crown finished. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the process. If it is ever possible, I want to have one of your beautiful dolls one day.

  11. Isabel Pacheco
    July 25th, 2011 07:45
    11

    I’m speechless, is fascinating to see your beautiful Marina work, can not imagine how I love to have a beautiful doll, My hope is not lost. I want to have one of your beautiful dolls one day. I love

  12. Erin
    July 25th, 2011 10:44
    12

    Oh wow! So beautiful and very amazing how you but something like this together. It was very nice of you to share your process with everyone. I would so love to have one of your dolls one day!

  13. Gaietta
    July 25th, 2011 13:03
    13

    genius O.O

  14. Jon Songserm
    July 26th, 2011 02:49
    14

    Wow! It’s a great honor to me, thank you very much Marina.
    Your hard word is always beyond the time, so stunning, very magnificent, master piece art which I always love to see. The first doll that made me falling in to Enchanted Doll is Pink Crown, after that it makes me become to follower your beautiful work, this day make me so happy to see my name mention on the enchanted doll blog, like a dream!

    Thank you very much,:)

    Jon

  15. Nada
    July 26th, 2011 05:08
    15

    How much do 1,800 Swarowsky crystals cost?

  16. ranjiangzi
    July 26th, 2011 08:34
    16

    speechless,speechless and speechless…
    Marina you are a gift to human from God!!!

  17. Tina
    July 26th, 2011 09:38
    17

    You are amazing. I wish I could be a fly on your wall while you work. Where do you find candles? Do the candles burn for seconds? a minute?

  18. Marina
    July 26th, 2011 10:21
    18

    Let’s see:

    1,800 Swarowsky alone was around $800 give or take, but there were also the milling charges, molding charges, injection charges, casting charges and 24k gold plating charges. $$$
    It was one of my most expensive pieces ever made.

    As for candles, those were cheap. I bought little cake candles and meticulously carved them down with a knife to the thickness I needed.

  19. Kharina
    July 26th, 2011 11:40
    19

    You must have the patience of the Dalai Lama and the steady hand of a brain surgeon. Incredibly intricate and so breathtakingly beautiful! How many hours in total did it take you to complete this piece?

  20. Nada
    July 27th, 2011 02:38
    20

    Impressive prize. Thank you for the answer and for sweetening our lives.

  21. alexz
    July 28th, 2011 23:35
    21

    things what you’re making are just AWESOME!!!

  22. Rebecca
    August 2nd, 2011 13:36
    22

    Good. God.

    Woman.

    You have made crazy amazing accessories in the past, but I do think this one takes the cake.

    Well done, Marina!

  23. Anna
    October 2nd, 2011 17:09
    23

    What Rebecca said. This is so amazing. So brilliant.

  24. Calla
    November 14th, 2011 04:01
    24

    I honestly choked a little when I saw the drawings at first, I though “What! No she can’t seriously be making that!” But you did, holy mother you are talented.

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