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Building a Locket

Lesson 16 from: Explorations in Metalsmithing: Hollow Fabrication

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

16. Building a Locket

Lesson Info

Building a Locket

So what I wanna do now is just get you thinking about other ways that you can use hollow fabrication, and then talk about a few techniques that are really specific to lockets. So we're gonna be talking about-- I'm gonna pull out my magic tray of locket goodies here. We're gonna be kinda mainly demonstrating what you might think of as like a traditional locket idea. So a dome with a deck and either another dome or a flat part that fits onto it. But, you don't have to use a dome. So pretty much any hollow fab shape could be turned into a locket using this. So you could construct something that has walls and a flat top. You could think about ways to use the cone shape. You could pretty much use any hollow fab shape that you wanted. But I'm gonna walk you guys through this process of actually making a domed locket because it's kinda what we traditionally think of when we think of lockets. So, the first thing, we're not gonna actually do this again, is that obviously if you're gonna make a ...

domed locket you need a dome. So just like we did way back in segment one, you can make a dome. And most of what I'm gonna show you guys just for ease of life I'm gonna do a dome on one side and a flat sheet on the other as I put things together. It's just gonna be faster for us. But you can use two domes and do a locket that actually is two domes that open. Or two domes we're gonna talk about a rivet opening as well. So either one of those will work just fine. So know that you can do two halves of a dome, we're just doing a half and a flat sheet. So the first thing that you probably wanna think about-- Completely lost my clicker, there it is. Think about doing is adding a deck to your locket. So you can make a locket that is just two open halves, but if you think about it, if we were trying to do what locket traditionally is where we'd put a picture in here, there's nothing to hold it in place. So what you can actually do is put some kind of deck on your locket so that there's a little bit of a lip. And so you can see here this one I've actually trimmed off most of the excess, but I've got this little lip in here, right? So if gives me a place where I could put a picture or something that gets slid in. So that's essentially how that works. And the way that you do that is not gonna look any different than what we just did putting the face onto our ring with the exception of that we're obviously pre-cutting that center hole, because we can't get in there with our soft frame afterwards right? So we've pre-cut that center hole. So what I did is I basically just measured in, I took my dome, I traced it, and actually you can see here where I sort of did this math in my sketchbook. So, I traced my dome here, and then I measured in about an eighth of an inch and determined that that's what I wanted as my center cut circle. Then I just drew some extra lines to give myself the, how much bigger space do I need, and went and cut that. So depending on the type of locket you're making, you may need a bigger deck than others. So I'm gonna show you guys how to do a hinge with basically a tube rivet and a little flange. So we're gonna use a tube rivet so that it actually will-- I'll do that in a second. So that it pivots open. And so we need enough space to make our tube rivet happen, and then enough space to do this kinda little fold over clasp. So in that case, I left that extra material. If you were doing something where you put a hinge on it, which we're gonna do in a moment also, you don't need that much excess material, you just need enough excess to kinda make this work and then you'll trim it off with your saw. So just like we did with the rings, you can see how these techniques actually become one in the same, right? So just like we did with the ring, I would take this go ahead and flatten it on there. The one thing I would do here is because placement is actually critical I would go in and if I know I did an eighth of an inch, I'm gonna measure at about four spots, or I'm gonna mark it about four spots. So about an eighth of an inch here. This ruler gets like stuck to this table. It's really hard to pick up. An eighth of an inch there. An eighth of an inch there. And an eighth of an inch there. So that way then once I got to put this on as I'm setting it with my binding wire I have some dots to guide me so that I know I'm putting it in the right place. But then I would do the exact same thing. So flux this, flux this, put them together, and then go ahead and binding wire that. I would place, in this case you're never gonna see to get your solder on the inside, so I would just place my solder on the outside, and just know that I'm gonna have a little bit of clean up there. And actually you can see this guy kinda turned into a hot mess. If we can look that, our top down guy there, kinda turned into a hot mess. I did not get it to go the first time, had to add some solder to some spots. But it's fine cause most of this flange is gonna get cut off. So it's not the end of the world. So, we'd go ahead solder this guy on. Jim do you wanna ask that question that came up online about when we were talking about soldering the sphere? Yeah, absolutely. So the question that came up from earlier, just kinda wanna find it, is could you talk to the process of doing a pre-solder on that rim and then finishing it? Yeah, so I eluded to when we were doing our little dome sample guy here, I said if you didn't wanna have to place your solder on the outside, if you didn't want it to be messy, what you could do is pre-solder one half. You can actually use that technique in this locket too. So what I would do is I would take, this guys a little bit closer to being done, I would take my one half and I would get this completely flat on my sand paper, and then I would flux the edge and I would just lay my solder around the edge. And then just go ahead and heat that up and flow it, right? So I should have an edge of solder all around this top flat piece. Then I would pickle that. Then I would go ahead flux that, flux this piece or flux this guy that I was gonna put them together. And now I don't have to add any extra solder. I can just heat it up again and the solder will re-flow. So that's the advantage of solder, because it does re-flow sometimes we can actually make that work for us. So hopefully that answered that question. Perfect, alright. So just like we did before, you know we can use binding wire to get this in alignment. One of the little tricks that you can also do here, so I find with a dome that it's a lot harder to get your binding to stay, it wants to kind of slid off. So if you'll notice, I don't know if you can see right here, right there, I actually took my triangle needle file and I just notched the edges. And so what that did is it gave me spots for my binding wire to sit in so that it didn't want to slide off. So since this is getting cut off anyway that's a nice little trick that you can use to get your binding wire to stay in place. Make sense? Alright, so if you were doing you know, both sides of the locket obviously you'd do both sides like this and then you could come in and either trim them off completely or trim them off leaving a flange depending on what you're doing for your hinges.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Hollow Fabrication Supplies List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Ring Blank Cheat Sheet

Ratings and Reviews


After watching Megan solder in this class, I felt like it was something I could take on. There's a lot of soldering in this class! But there's also a lot you can do without soldering that's covered. I have a better understanding of how jewelry is made from this class. I'm looking at things that I own and thinking that I now know how to recreate them!

Silvia Rossi

I liked this course, Megan explains a lot of things about techniques and materials and it's simple follow all the operations to create these types of rings. I think I'd purchase other classes of her.

Student Work