Monday, February 25, 2013

The Modern Locket

Modern Locket in Aluminum
Aluminum is an amazing metal. It's uses are endless...from cookware to industrial applications...this metal at one time in history rivaled platinum. Its discovery in the early 1800's has transformed our daily lives. Today, aluminum jewelry is gaining in popularity due to its carefree quality and likeness in color to silver.

I love lockets. The idea of a secret message for the wearer or photos that only the wearer treasures is fascinating. My next several projects will focus on creating different locket designs. I'll share the basics of how I make these modern lockets.

For my first locket project, I decided to cut my own discs. The process involves using a disc cutter with different sized holes and a big hammer. The sheet metal is inserted into the disc cutter and the cutting cylinder is inserted in the hole. I use a big hammer to "whack" the cutting cylinder. It takes some muscle, but isn't too difficult. The edges of the disc are deburred with sandpaper or a file and the disc is sanded to a satin finish.

This locket is for my mother-in-law, Yei. I recently planted flowers in her garden and decided on flowers as a design element.  The secret message on the inside will be "My Boys."



Aluminum is so easy to hammer and the front disc is given a hammered finish. I love how the light glitters in different directions with this finish. The metal is very soft and requires very little effort to hammer the piece.

The basic steps are:
1) lay out the design directly on the metal with a permanent marker
2) practice on a scrap piece of metal or sometimes a thick cardstock. Check spacing.
3) stamp piece
4) align and punch holes
5) clean off marker with acetone
6) final polish
7) assemble

I like the look of this piece and will create variations of this design for future lockets. Every piece I make is created with an attention to detail using traditional metalsmithing techniques I've acquired over the past 25 years.

My work is available for sale on LisaMiwa.Etsy.com and StampologieShop.Etsy.com. Like me on Facebook at Lisa Miwa Jewels and Stampologie to receive special offers.









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