Prop design – Charlemagne’s sword Joyeuse

Joyeuse concept

ConceptArt.org’s challenge was to redesign Charlemagne’s sword, Joyeuse. The sword is real, so the task is to reimagine it as a fantasy weapon.

The key features to the sword was that it changes color multiple times in a day, and it represented joyousness. More of a mass media weapon than a slaying device.

For the color feature, I settled on using opal as a material source. Opal was reputed to be a gemstone that changes color, even when the owner dies. The change of light throughout the day would change the refracted light from the sword, so it explains the color-changing feature.

Image of blue fire opal knife on http://canyouactually.com/

Image of blue fire opal knife on http://canyouactually.com/

Was surprised to discover that gemstone blades do exist. Thus, reference.

Virgin Rainbow opal, image from Mother Nature Network http://www.mnn.com/

Virgin Rainbow opal, image from Mother Nature Network http://www.mnn.com/

Finding colors of opal that referenced joyousness wasn’t difficult; they do exhibit the colors of the rainbow.

The next step is ideation and form-building.

Joyeuse concept - making

Did silhouettes for the pommel, guard and blade, and created options for the parts. Chose the ones I thought interesting if combined, and made a sword out of it.

Four hours work.

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