Bringing a favorite childhood character to life...
My brother and I spent our childhood bonding over superhero movies and nerd stuff. A couple of years ago we decided to drop in on a local comic convention to restock our supplies of action figures for our shelves and Star Wars t-shirts for our closets. Over the years it has morphed into an excuse to create costumes with some type of over the top metal work. Inspired by the YouTube show, Tested, and its host, Adam Savage, I decided to go all out this year with a very detailed build.
When I was around the age of five, my mom ordered a subscription of Barbie Magazine for me. Inside was a fold out poster of She-Ra Princess of Power. That poster was so interesting to me that I wanted to keep it just like it was, carefully intact inside the magazine. Fast forward more years than I'd like to admit, and that magazine sits on my desk, the character of She-Ra being my motivation for this costume build. Her metal tiara would be the piece to set the tone for the entire costume. I began with sheets of solid brass, sketch paper and markers, creating outlines and patterns for the component of the headpiece.
Using a hand saw and a foot powered treadle scroll saw, I cut pieces of brass to shape for the wings of the headpiece. Even though these builds are for fun, it is important to me to use them as opportunities to include my own style and push my skillset as a maker. Within the lines of the headpiece, I created elaborate hand engravings, used the hand saw to cut out decorative patterns to alternate between the engraving and gave a hand hammered texture to all of the unengraved metal surfaces.
Once the head piece design was well under way, I switched my focus to starting the dress portion of the costume. A used white dress was the perfect start to alter into my vision for the outfit. I used pieces from a gold table cloth to create some dimension to the bodice and waist. A vintage brooch I had on hand made the perfect jewel for the center of the bodice.
Though I would have had fun forming the brass collar necklace, I just happened to find one at an antique store that was green from tarnish. I polished it up, hand engraved it and added a jewel to its center. The final pieces to the puzzle were a wig, colored contacts and a cape.