Tuesday 13 April 2010

The Graceful Dead

Time for the human skull to make a cameo appearance...

Image: Moe Jackson

Alexa Chung.  Model, presenter, TV personality, fashion icon and, of late, skull-bearer - of the porcelain persuasion.  Who could not love her delectably individual style of designer-meets-vintage ...especially when they can get the look for £5.  Yes, 5 of our British pounds - a fiver, or less, if you're lucky with charity shops.  Intrigued?  Read on - and all will be revealed...

Alexa's necklace was one among the many masterpieces of the Italian Jewellery house, Iosselliani.  Its gotta-have-it cachet, I'd say, is down to its ingenious part-glamour-goth, part-vintage, part-precious-costume-jewellery originality (and 18k yellow gold to boot)... not sure if it's worth the asking price tag, though.



A piece of cake, in principle, but it helps if you're good at modelling - with clay I mean, so modelling of the 3-dimensional variety, not the catwalk one.


About 2 or 3 of them - hours, that is - required to make a cameo skull necklace, tops.  This has to be one of the simplest Chic Cheat projects I've taken on since starting this blog.

Total Cost

I made two necklaces, one of whose raw ingredients cost me a total of £4 and the other a total of £6, so a fiver per necklace, on average.

Save it!

The Iosselliani original will set you back - wait for it - £850, I kid you not.  Vogue can't be wrong, after all, can it, dear fashionistas?  That, in turn, makes it 170 times what the Chic Cheat solution would cost you, thereby making getting creative 170 more sensible!

You will need

  • A necklace with a plain stone pendant - ch-check out your ch-ch-charity shop for some good bargains.  My necklaces cost £2 and £4 respectively.

  • Classic white Fimo clay About £2 from Hobbycraft.

  • Blue Ink (optional)

  • Contact adhesive

  • Narrow palette knife like the one pictured below:

You knead it in your life...

Cut out a blob about 3 or 4 mm thick out of your slab of Fimo and kneed it to get it soft enough to work with.  What I find helps, at this awkward beginning stage is pounding it hard and slamming it against your desk until it softens... No, of course I don't harbour violent or sadistic tendencies!

When your clay is nice and soft, cut it into a flat skull shape, about 2mm deep or thereabout, and no wider than the stone you have to fit it onto.  You can also use your pallette knife to sculpt the sort of textures that the skull in the original has.

You can dab it with blue ink to make it look like the skull on the original necklace, but be very sparing or it may look cartoon-like.

Bake your clay skull in the oven, for however long you're instructed to - ahem - stick it in.  If you get the Fimo I used, that'd be half an hour.

Finally, after leaving your skull for about five minutes or so to cool down, glue it to your pendant with contact adhesive.

And you should have something which looks like this:

...Or this:

1 comment:

  1. […] “So, Charley… what have you got on?” A question you readers may ask if you wonder how I style my couture-inspired oeuvres – and one that hopefully none of you would mean any innuendos or risqué connotations by, thank you very much! Well, I just thought I’d let  you know, anyway, how I dressed up my recently-made Louis Vuitton-inspired broderie jumper with the following snap of me modelling the charity-shop-buys-turned-couture-replica, teamed with my home-made red tartan kilt, zigzag-printed black and white ankle boots (sadly not a Chic Cheat creation), black patterned tights, a bow tie and my skull cameo necklace from another of my blog entries: […]