With the basics worked out it's time to look at some alternatives for the Tight Rope Walker.
One idea would be to incorporate an internal light source - one of those Closet Stick Up LEDs. A bit of piercing and light would shine out of the piece. At 2 3/4" in diameter by a bit over 1" tall, one could easily fit in the bottom of a 3 1/4 to 3 1/2" diameter lidded box.
OK - lidded box, with Pendulum Finial - let's play with a scale drawing.
Looks like a 3 1/2" x 7" blank would do for the box and a 3/4" x 3" piece for the finial. Box proportions about 2/5ths for the lid, 3/5ths for the box, the finial about half the total height of the lidded box.
OH - and to make it easy to attach the box to the tight rope - a necklace chain Spring Clasp. Open the clasp, slip the box onto the "rope" and the piece can slide - but not fall off.
Next step - what "look" do I want to go with - Formal and Familiar or Very Informal and Familiar?
A formal and familair form would create an interesting context conflict - Formal & Refined - on a tight rope? WHAT?!
The tight rope walker idea goes with a Circus. And other than a guy on an elephant or a lion tamer, what comes to mind when you think CIRCUS? A Clown - of course. Clowns not only entertain, but amuse and delight! And doing a clown would provide a lot of leeway - it's hard to do a bad clown. Bright colors, big feet, a red nose and you've got a clown! And because of the pendulum finial thing - the head can move - and maybe even rotate.
Don't recall ever seeing a Clown Lidded Box before - so there's the Uniqueness Factor. A clown it will be.
If this idea works out maybe I'll incorporate a small electric motor - put umbrellas that'll rotate - and have the clown's head spin around!