Marcus Sinclair as Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars Exhibition at the County Hall, Westminster, London in 2007

I'm showing off (again) but am not apologising, as this has been rather an exciting week....

Me in 2007 with the most diabolical hair colour
- I do NOT suit blonde... but we all have try sometime, right?
No wonder Emperor Palpatine is laughing, and Darth Vader wants to chop my head off!

Back in 2007, I was commissioned to make a cloak clasp for Emperor Palpatine for the Star Wars Exhibition - and had to watch through the film several times, then freeze the DVD so that I could sketch the clasp.

My original sketch for Emperor Palpatine's Cloak Clasp, 2007 - plus the first brooch, cast in clay

From my sketch, I made a model in plasticine then cast a mould (silicon rubber). From this, I made the clasp in Polymer Clay.

Darth Vader loves us, really...

The first brooch: Marcus (the actor who was playing the Emperor in the exhibition) managed to pull off the brooch fastening (twice) so next we tried magnets, which worked really well. Then he dropped it. Guess what - polymer clay does break!

Darth Maul - played by Seb Morgan
Me and Darth Maul in 2007
The second cloak clasp - luckily, I'd kept the original mould - was made using magnets again - and this one lasted up until last year, when the exhibition travelled to Brussels, then Belgium. Things get broken, lost in transit, wear out, generally don't look as spiffy or pristine... whatever, this year they wanted a new one and I was extremely happy to be asked to oblige!

Version 1 - I made this one in 2007. As you can see, it's pretty big (actual dimensions checked from the film, so they are accurate)

So here is Version 3.
2011 version - the third one I've made for the Star Wars event

This time, I've tried to make it indestructible - again, cast in polymer clay, and then I've soldered on the fixings: two large brooch fastenings to one side (so if one fails, the other one is there to reinforce it: actors are none to gentle when changing costume in a hurry) and on the other side two really strong magnets. I've used ones that are so strong, they'll work through thick fabric.

2011 version - with copper tape antiqued and soldered, plus soldered brooch fastenings - the magnets are on the right.

I got this gig via my hugely talented friend Stephen Du Toit, who is the Wardrobe Master yet again this season. He actually sewed the costumes for all the Jedi Knights, Emperor Palpatine etc (so I know he's sewing the 2nd magnet invisibly INTO the cloak). Not only does he make all these wonderful costumes: he also acts as an extra - and you may have seen him street and courtroom scenes in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

As you can see, it's pretty solid! I've tried to make it indestructible

I delivered the clasp to Stephen on Wednesday; the new Palapatine (Rob Maloney) came for his wardrobe fitting yesterday and really likes it, so I am a very happy bunny.

This was quite a flurry of excitement this week, and I just thought I'd share.


  1. Oh, fun indeed! And, you need some after all the computer biz goings on. I am super excited you are so busy.

    Not to worry about anything. I'm settling in CA, and giving myself daily talkings to about "grow where you are planted. Travel has been non-stop for you know who so an attitude adjustment was in order.

    Love love love your website and blog creations!

    Happy Pink (magenta) Saturday to you!

  2. Hi Susie~
    I' be talking about this too if I did this! How awesome! I love Star Wars. And, yes, we can count the magenta around the eyes.
    Happy Pink Saturday!

  3. Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas23 July 2011 at 13:13

    Hello!! Thanks so much for visiting me!!
    This is such a great post!! I am sending it to my oldest son as he is quite a fan of Star Wars!! He will love seeing this!!

    Congrats to you for being commisioned to do this and you should brag about it!! It IS a big deal!!


  4. hey, you're in show biz - how cool is that! Don't fret over the lack of pink. My posts rarely are pink ;-0

  5. Hi Susie,
    What a fun work assignment! I have loved Star Wars since the first movie came out years ago. I like the third piece of art that you did. Love that shine and certainly would think this one might last. Great job.
    Happy Pink Saturday.
    Thank you for visiting my biz blog and leaving me such a nice comment. I hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend, Char

  6. Oh yes, fun! I know that was a blast and I'd be sharing my good times too. Fun pics, thanks for sharing. And I think those are pink eyes for pink saturday.......Have a great weekend

    The French Hutch

  7. Hi Susie, Thanks for visiting my blog and your comments. It's nice to meet you I too just think June at Dezinaworld is a special person. Happy Pink Saturday and WOW you really have a super post for Fun Friday. How awesome to be commissioned for a huge project like that! My grandsons would be too impressed for words. I'm one of your new followers. Linda

  8. Country Wings in Phoenix24 July 2011 at 00:23

    Oh My Gosh Susie...
    I would say the Force was DEFINITELY with you. How exciting. I had to play the video through as well. I am so tickled for you. What an honor. A beautiful creation by you. I bet this is the MOST fun you have had. It is beautiful, and I can just hear my husband, son and grandsons being so impressed. They go way back to the beginning with Star Wars.

    Loved this post. SO much fun to see you with the characters. I Love it. You are such a special artist. You never stop amazing me. Someday I hope to own a creation of yours.

    Have a gorgeous weekend sweetie. Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

  9. robinsbluenest24 July 2011 at 08:08

    Oh how fun!

    Wishing you a pinkishly beautiful weekend....

  10. Lynn@ The Vintage Nest25 July 2011 at 14:56

    You have a fabulous claim to fame and I bet he is wearing pink underwear! :) HPS Susie! xoxo

  11. Stephanie Suzanne ♥ Queen of Dreamsz25 July 2011 at 21:16

    Hi Susie,

    I'll say..yes, how exciting for you. Just totally cool! I wanted to let you know I've started another blog to focus on my crochet and sewing. It is where all of my primary posting will take place. I'd love for you to pop in for a visit. I'm using my Queen of Dreamsz blog for uploading my vintage collection of sewing patterns and more.

    Pink Sparkles for your week,
    Stephanie Suzanne ♥

  12. Famous or what, brilliant Susie

  13. This is so awesome! What a treat to know someone with such connections and artistic ability. You go girl!

  14. Me again! Guess you are busy busy busy which is good good good! Thinking of you.


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