Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Zibellino Just For ME!

This month, as I worked on creatures in my zibie family for other people, I realized that I hadn't made one for myself since I made the prototypes!  I try to remember to take pictures of all the items I make, so I went back through my folders of pictures and counted how many I'd made so far.  I was amazed when I found that, of the ones I'd remembered to take pictures of, there were almost 100 zibie creatures!  I decided it was high time for me to make one for myself again.

While researching zibellini, I came across this item in a 1547 inventory of Henry VIII: “Item in the same coffre one Sable skynne with a hedd of golde conteyning in yt a clocke with a coller of gold enameled blacke sett with iiij diamountes and foure rubies and with two perles hanging at the eares and twoo rubies in the yees, the same skynne having allso feete of golde eche sett with a turques the tonge being a rubye."

A zibie with a clock in it's head?  Brilliant!  I found a beautiful watch face set with many tiny rhinestones.  I decided to keep the colors very simple and elegant: black, gold, and clear crystal.  I'd been saving a lovely chocolate mink pelt for when I did get around to making a personal zibie again, and I thought she'd work perfectly with my color scheme.

I wanted to make sure that I could get at the battery so I could replace it as needed, so after baking the zibie's mask, I cut out where the watch face would sit.  After setting all the jewels (57 of them!) and filigree, sealing the mask with varnish, and attaching her earrings (two in each ear, another first for me!) I wired the clock in place.  It was only after I'd attached the mask to the mink's head when I realized that I'd never set the watch, nor started it!  *sigh*  The ornate nature of the watch meant that I couldn't get at the watch stem without removing the watch face from the mask.  *double sigh*  See, this is why you always make a prototype (or several!) before offering something for sale!

Being a practical kind of gal, I couldn't feel entirely comfortable about the extravagance of a personal zibie without doing *something* to justify it!  So I decided that I would use a new varnish I'd just purchased to see how well it would perform.  I'll try to remember to post an update about that in a later post.

Anyway, here's my completed zibellino.  Meet Nox, the Goddess of the Night!

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