How to create a genuine magic wand
What if magic was real? What if Hogwards was an actual place and you HAD the chance of receiving the coveted letter by owl when turning 11? This is a very real day dream of many children as well as adults (albeit a bit late to hope for the 11-year letter). We have read the books, watched the movies, visited the Warner Bros Studios outside London and purchased the merchandise. And some take the day dream all the way and enroll in a Live Action Role Play (LARP) where they get to pretend and act the role as a student at a magic school. For such a genuine experience you will need a genuine wand, made of genuine materials.
My daughter of 12 has just participated in such a LARP and of cause her jeweler mother jumped at the occasion and asked if she wanted a real wand for the event. Luckily (for me) she was thrilled and so the next question was “what do you want it to look like?” Turns out that she was very taken by the ornamented simplicity of the wand of the American Minister of Magic Seraphina Picquery in the latest Potterverse movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
This wand is of cause very inspired by the period of the movie – the symmetrical arches of art deco – and has a purple color theme.
However, my daughter didn’t want a copy (good girl), but her own version, perhaps a bit softer and more playful. And so I delighted in designing an art nouveau inspired wand while keeping to the overall concept of the original. It was to be composed of a wooden wand, topped with a purple gem and held securely together with a silver ornament.
The first challenge was to have the wand itself created. I had a block of amaranth – a very beautiful, dark and somewhat reddish/purplish sort of wood, which is also known as “purple heart”, because it tends to be more purple when freshly cut. Whenever working with it, the wood releases a mouthwatering vanilla scent, which has also caused its nickname “cake wood” amongst carpenters.
Finding a person who both owned and was able to skillfully operate a lathe was not easy, but I finally ended up in the crammed workshop of a fellow tool tart. Here we could discuss the finer points of having specialized tools and how you sometimes have to invent tools in order to achieve a certain result. He agreed to turn my block of vanilla-fragrant amaranth into a wand – complete with a hole in the middle for the core to be filled with a fragment of a magical being. More about that later.
Now to the trimmings: I have had a rather large, drop shaped and facet cut amethyst stashed away in my safe for years and now I had the perfect project for its use. I ground out a cone shaped cavity into the end of the wand in order to fit them perfectly together and smoothed the edges of the lovely wood with emery. Then I glued together a paper cone, which fit the two elements together and drew the ornament to be cut out straight onto the cone.
Cut open and flattened, the paper now served as a template for piercing the silver sheet with my jewelers saw.
I then shaped the lace-like silver into a cone, soldered it together and did the last finishings of filing the ornament until all the lines were flowing as elegantly and airily as I had envisioned it. One last trip to the polishing machine and the silver was ready for the last step.
Then it was time to assemble the wand. As every genuine Harry Potter fan knows, a wand always has a core of a substance of some magical creature. Mr Potter for instance yields a wand with a core of a phoenix feather. However, my search for phoenixes, unicorns or the likes proved fruitless and so I settled for a whisker from my daughters white cat Amanda.
This was actually not completely off either, as the father of Mr. Ollivander often used whiskers from the “kneazle” – a very large cat. Crookshanks – Hermiones cat – was for instance a half kneazle and so, using the whisker from Amanda the not-quite-so-large-cat, was absolutely okay.
I plugged the hole of the wand with the amethyst and set it securely by bending the prongs from the silver filigree over its curve. A bit of oil brought out the deep lustre of the lovely wood and finished off the smooth look of this one of a kind custom made luxury wand of 10 ¼”
Read more about the finished wand here
My daughter was thrilled when she unwrapped her brand new wand and slept with it the night before going to her own Hogwards, called “The Magical School of Brogg” at the castle Rosenholm, where she attended a LARP created for kids. Here she was to play the character Lonnie Gunhild – a rather nerdy nature lover from the west coast of Denmark (hence the rubber boots).
If you are an adult and harbor the same dream of studying at a genuine magical school, consider taking a trip to Poland, where you can attend the “College of Wizardry” at a genuine castle. I know the experience to be absolutely breathtaking, but do sign up in due time. In spite of the remote location and the substantial price tag, slots are usually sold out very fast.
Should you want your very own custom made wand made of high end materials, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a design meeting. Prices start at 1.500 kr.
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