Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A special silver locket

In my job as a jeweler and entrepreneur, most of my days are filled with administrative tasks, answering e-mails, ordering supplies, fulfilling orders and making the jewelry I offer in my Etsy shop. I love my job and feel very lucky to do something that fills my heart with so much joy.

But once in a while I get to work with a customer one-on-one to create a unique piece of custom jewelry. Over the past few months I had the opportunity to work with one of my favorite people who contacted me and told me a secret: he and his wife were expecting their first child in May. And would I be able to make a super-secret-gift, something really special, perhaps a locket?  Was that something in my 'wheelhouse?'  Not only was I blown away that they were expecting, but he used the word 'wheelhouse.' You can see why I love these people, yes?

After jumping up and down and hollering with excitement, we got to work.  Knowing their love for travel, my Compass Necklace immediately came to mind. I also really like that compasses represent a journey, and that bringing a child into the world with your life partner is truly an amazing journey.

Here is my original silver compass necklace:

He decided to choose a London blue topaz gem for the center, since his wife loves teal blue, and some of the other pieces I've made for her have London blue topaz so it brings a lot of things together.  He also wanted the bail to not be so busy. And he didn't want it to look like a locket.

That was a challenge: how could I make a locket that doesn't look like a locket? I decided to do a rivet hinge from the top, and to create a frame inside that could hold a photo. You can see my original thoughts here, to see if it would even work:

I switched the bail to a more simple and clean one and I created a frame using a flat sheet of silver cut into an oval the same size as the compass part, with another oval silhouette that I hand cut (think of the letter O). Sandwiched in between was an oval made from flat, square wire to create a lip between the ovals-- so that a picture could be held in place.  All told this necklace has 4 layers of sterling silver!

I did a lot of filing to make sure everything fit together seamlessly, riveted the two parts together, oxidized the silver and set her stone and voila. A locket that doesn't look like a locket:

The back was engraved with a special message, and he presented it to her the night before she brought their baby into the world.

I'm so honored to have made such a special piece of jewelry to represent this once-in-a-lifetime event, it was worth it to see him smile when he came to pick it up. I wish the happy family a beautiful life together! Congratulations!


capitalcitycrafts said...

Simply wonderful, you are a genius!

Metalicious said...

Aw, thank you, Barbara! You are a genius, too. And a sweetie!

Roxanne Smith said...

Wow. What a special moment for you to be a part of. It must thrill you to no end to be connected to so many milestones and celebrations all over the world.

Also, I love how you take us through the process. Artistry, math and all with keeping the vision of someone else in mind. Thank you for sharing!

Metalicious said...

Thank you, Roxanne!

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Scampy said...

I love the story behind the meaning of the gift and connecting the meaning to the creation of the non-locket locket.

A wonderful example of the mindful creativity of metalicious ....combining a technical, yet emotional touch to your work.

I am very proud to be a longtime supporter and volunteer of Metalicious....

Blogforuindia said...

Good idea and it’s so good!!

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Maria Luise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Luise said...

I completely agree with you and just as you shared your story that is very enjoyable.

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