Prop design – Charlemagne’s sword Joyeuse

Joyeuse concept’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

Image of blue fire opal knife on

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

Virgin Rainbow opal, image from Mother Nature Network

Virgin Rainbow opal, image from Mother Nature Network

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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