WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – This year, signs of life beyond Earth can be spotted in the colonial capital of Virginia, in anticipation of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Every year during the holidays, the Colonial Williamsburg staff decorate the historic area with ornate, handmade holiday wreaths which they handcraft. A number of the buildings in the area are leased as private residences, but tenants must still use 18th-century supplies when they decorate for the holidays.
Katherine Ainslie, whose family resides on Duke of Gloucester Street, said that her kids came up with the idea for Star Wars-themed wreaths (last year it was Harry Potter).
Residents in the colonial area are given a list of approved materials for the wreaths, so they maintain a colonial aspect.
Ainslie said her son’s request was that “one wreath have lightsabers.”
The challenge would be crafting one for the colonial apital.
That’s where it helps to know a tinsmith. Apprentice Tinsmith Jennifer LynnJennifer Lynn now holds title as the only 18th-century lightsabermith, in this galaxy at least.
The “lightsaber handles” are holding taper candles.
Then Journeyman Cooper Ramona Hill loaned her penmanship to scratch out, with quill and ink, a title sequence that is placed within a wreath that has the number of Star Wars films symbolized with the use of Osage oranges.
A leathermaker engineered a colonial replica of Chewbacca’s bandolier.
There is a wreath using wire and silk ribbon to represent Princess Leia’s signature hair-do.
Another uses plant materials to take Yoda’s shape.
Ainslie wrote that the process took around 20 hours total.
“Personally, I think my wreaths are 90% held together by The Force and the other 10% wire,” she wrote. “There’s also the 20 hours of my life I will never get back. Still, in the end, it all comes together and the Historic Area is transformed into a stunning display and collection of all of our hard work.”