Friday, September 7, 2012

Hinges, lockets etc.

Yesterday I finished my first hinged locket made not only out of metal clay, but also out of sterling silver sheet and tubing. I know this isn't impressive for experienced silversmiths, but for me it was a real challenge :).
The lid of the locket is made entirely out of hand formed fine silver (Art Clay Silver) (these sylvan ornaments are one of my favourites), but the rest of the locket is made out of traditional sterling silver. There was a lot of soldering, swearing, growling and even a few tears ;), but finally I finished it, and I'm SO happy :).
Before I began working on this pendant I had found a few wonderful online tutorials which turned out to be very useful. If you know nothing about soldered hinges, like I did (and probably still do :) ), check them out:
- Tutorial on Etsy Metal Blog
- Mokume gane locket on
- Modern lockets on

This is how the locket looks like when it's closed. What was the most difficult thing? Definitely soldering these tiny pieces of tubing to both parts of the locket. At first I did of course what I was warned about - I soldered all "knuckles" to one side ;). During soldering process all tubing pieces are put on one stainless steel wire so it's really easy to let the solder flow too fast... This was SO frustrating. At some point I also managed to solder steel wire to the inner surface of the silver hinge... I had no idea this was even possible ;D. Next time I totally want to try riveting the wire which is put inside the hinge, but firstly I have to buy a jewellers anvil. This time I simply made at the one end a tiny ball with my gas torch, and then soldered another tiny ball to opposite end.

And this is the locket on my hand :). It's rather small. The stones are chrome diopside and two yellow sapphires. To be honest I feel so encouraged that I'm thinking about making one for myself. This may be surprising, but I don't have any jewellery made by me. Maybe such a locket could be the first piece I would wear :).

And a bit of history ;D. This is a locket I made back in 2008 - this was the year I tried metal clay for the first time. I still have this pendant, but I don't wear it (believe me, it is SO askew and it keeps opening by itself when it's being worn... Here are some more photos ;) ). It's just a souvenir from my metal clay beginnings :). Actually the design of this locket you see above is based on this old one. Many things happened since then and I really learned a lot :).

P.S. Make sure you check the newest post on Etsy Metal Clay Team blog :). Our super talented team members present their latest creations.


  1. I truly love your new blog... and still admire your work.

    1. Dzięki :))) Właśnie, właśnie, muszę Cię podlinkować :D

  2. hi, I love this locket, can you tell me where I can purchase it from? thanks

    1. Hi, this was one-of-a kind, and actually a custom order, so I sold it a long time ago...

  3. You don't have the old locket kicking around, do you? If so, how muchwould it be?