Akhenaten – more details

First Trial Armbands

First Trial Armbands

My first attempt to dress Akhenaten with his armlets and wristband used a strange gold fabric I’ve had for some years. An old friend bought it originally to make herself an evening dress, but it’s a very difficult fabric to work with – it frays if you even breathe near it, it doesn’t drape at all well, but it doesn’t like structured shapes either.

She despaired, and gave it to me. What are friends for, after all?

I’m playing with fragments to see whether I can find something to do with it. So far I have discovered that iron-on interfacing doesn’t stay ironed on to it, either.

Second Trial Armband And Beard Padding

Second Trial Armband And Beard Padding

And, frankly, I think the armlets look more like waterwings. So it doesn’t work for a Pharaoh’s armlets, either!

The next attempt was to use gold kid leather. I’m a bit happier with the kid leather, even though I’ve not been able to put the cartouches on it, but while I was thinking about that, I decided I should maybe think about the tie-on beard which seems to have been an element of royal iconography in ancient Egypt – to the point that even the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, had herself depicted wearing one.

I made a small, padded form, using cotton padding covered with gauze, and attached it carefully. Then I had to work out how to cover it, and what sort of pattern would be appropriate.

And I really need to think of some way to pad out his nose, don’t I!


  1. LOL, I started to picture young Akhenaten getting swimming instructions from his mum Teje in the palace garden pond wearing his golden inflatables :). I think you are right that they are too bulky and I do like the leaher ones better. How about using silk metallic organza? That’s a little stiff, you can embroider on it and it has a nice golden or silver sheen to it due to the metal content.

  2. Lady Fi says:

    Wow – fabulous needlework!

  3. Sue Jones says:

    Hmm, well, if he can wear a false beard, presumably a false nose might solve his facial problems – assuming you have some if the fabric left over? I am sure you’ll get the armlets to work eventually. They still look a tadge heavy, to me, even in the leather.

  4. Jen Mullen says:

    Although I do love the sheen of the gold fabric, they really are puffy! The crinkle in the leather reminds me of hammered gold. Love watching the way details bring things to life, even as you work through your problems and change direction.

  5. Terrie says:

    You always so clever to find ways to modify. Beautiful work.

  6. Would a thin golden ribbon be an option? Or stitching? Or is there a way you could remove the wadding from the back on that particular part of his arms?

  7. Lin says:

    The gold kid arm band is a great improvement. xx

  8. Catherine says:

    As much as it is funny considering the possibilities of swimming lessons, it may not be the right look! The leather does look better. I’m quite intrigued by that other fabric. If for no other reason than to wonder what you could use it for!

  9. Susan says:

    Hmm. I think I agree on the water wings comment. That’s what I though of first when I saw that first pic. I do like the leather better, and does it have to have the cartouches? The one on his crossed wrists doesn’t seem out of place, though. Yes, a stuffy nose is not a bad thing in this instance. =) Overall, I still think he looks great, though!