A 12th Century Viking Heraldic Coronet

Now that the recipient has received this I can post the creation journal of another leather coronet.

This coronet is a a 12th Night Gift for Baroness Brigid Murchadha.

Design Baroness Brigid belongs to a household that has skull elements as part of their household device. 9 months ago, Brigid gave me 6 red skull beads that were given to her, that she wanted built into an earlier period coronet.While researching 12th-13th century coronets it was decided that the coronet’s shape would be taken from 12th Century French coronet designs with 12th-13th century edging.

Besides the red skulls beads, Brigid also wanted the Saint Brigid’s cross incorporated into the coronet.

For the design there would be the traditional 6 points lined up with each of the 6 Saint Brigid’s Crosses, and an embedded skull bead between each of the crosses.


 leatherwork Brigid’s other coronet’s are on more the dainty side ( one is metal one is stained glass), so I wanted to make this one a little more durable. Basically I wanted to make a coronet that she could go out drinking in. I figured that if she wore it out while camping at Gulf Wars or another spring/fall event she would wear it on top of a Norse cap with fur. Taking that into account, I wanted to create a coronet tall enough that it would not be hidden by the fur of her Norse cap. In order to do that, the coronet came in just shy of 4 inches ( it’s a good thing the Midrealm does not have any rules about Coronet Height)
 Tooling  I have a cat who thinks he is a rabbit, and a rabbit who thinks he is a God. Luckily both my pet’s have no issues with the loud noises I make while doing leather work.Pictured is Nyx, my cat whom Brigid watches while I am out of town. Nyx knew I was working on a gift for Brigid and so had to help out.

Once researched, designed, approved and transferred onto the leather, the item is tooled. For this particular coronet I stippled the entire background and raised both the border and the Saint Brigid’s Cross.

 Finished Tooling  Here you can see a close-up of the tooling work, and the depth put into the crosses. Next time I do a Saint Brigid’s Cross I would do if much differently. On this project i drew it, and filled it in where I should have started from the inside drawing out. I have a feeling I have many more Saint Brigid’s Crosses in my future (insert grumbling here)
 20121222_123455  Once tooled and the edgework done, I started to dye the coronet. I personally don’t like painted leatherwork, I think you get much more detailed beautiful pieces by dyeing and using the dye to shade it.For this particular piece I tried very hard to match the red of the dye to the red of the beads.
 Shading  This closeup shows a detail of the finished shading done by dyeing prior to doing the background black. You can also see the stimpling on the background. 
 Finished Coloring  The finished dye piece prior to inserting in the skill beads. Here you can see the red (perfect match to the beads) design elements and the black background.
 Finished Design  An example of the coronet prior to sewing up and waxing. You can see how I was able to match the red dye to that of the beads fairly well ( this is very important later on). I also try very hard to make my finished projects look as close to the designs as possible, so people know exactly what they will be getting.
 1st baking  The finished sewn, waxed, and formed coronet.Notice the coloring of the crosses and the beads…. NOT THE SAME COLOR RED!!!!!!!!!

Waxing leather darkens it…..a lot! What was once a beautiful shaded red cross turned into a burgundy design that is so dark it bleeds into the background.

 2nd waxing  I really could have left it the way it was and Brigid would have never have known. However after speaking with a couple of people who know leather a little more than myself ( Thanks Jeff!) I went back through and painted it and re-waxed it.

Here is the finished coronet.