Elvish Circlet Intricacies


Ithildin Circlet by Elnara

I don't know when I started liking circlets. For a long time I'd considered them to look strange, straddling that kind of divide where you aren't entirely sure if it's meant to be a crown or a headband, or something else entirely. Do you wear it underneath your hair? Or over it? How much hair under or over? There are simply too many questions to answer.

At some point though, 'forehead jewel' in The Bonemender had translated into 'circlet' as I tried to draw some fanart of the characters. I had researched some of these circlets to use as reference material and become entranced.

Not all circlets turn out well, but it is the intricate wire ones that usually turn out best. It takes a great deal of skill to create the circlet to the right size, to create it to fit properly on the head, to look most symmetrical so it doesn't look off-balance, and to create a circlet that keeps that delicate balance between the circlet being too plain and it being too overladen with needless decoration.

Ithildin Circlet by Elnara

The piece created above by Elnara is used just for demonstration and I personally consider her one of the best — from what I have seen so far of her work anyway. Her price sure reflects her mastery, as even the cheapest one is a three digit number, yet even her plainest circlets radiate elegance. Her circlets are always well balanced, and I am liking the styles I have seen her create that I had not thought I would like before.

The twisted wire 'droplet' that is supposed to sit over the forehead I always considered silly or tacky. It seemed a better idea to let a teardrop-shaped jewel dangle there. However, I have now seen ways in which this wire twist definitely works in Elnara's products. The gentle curve of the steel over the forehead ending with the twisted wire point in the centre of the forehead is perfect in the way that many circlets with a jewel droplet are not — they seem flat and uninteresting in comparison. Elnara uses space well, allowing the circlet to remain uncluttered.

Maybe I ought to save myself the $150 or so buying a circlet though and simply purchase reels of wire and a jewellery anvil instead to flatten wire. I neither have the knowledge nor have the skill for soldering, but Rachel's documenting of her process here gives plenty of tips as to how one could go about making one using glue and twists of wire. Worth trying out?