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LooLoo's Box Handcrafted Jewelry: Artisan Jewelry, from Sterling to Steampunk

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tutorial Part One: 'The Royal Secret Keeper' Locket

I get asked pretty often - especially at shows - what goes into the making of my pieces, so I decided to show the world how I made 'The Royal Secret Keeper', which is a layered brass locket necklace.  Because of the mixed finishes and the multiple layers, I am using E6000 - an industrial strength adhesive - to assemble this piece.  It is very, very strong.

Here are the materials I used for the locket itself (click photos to enlarge): 
  • One vintage brass locket, 38mm in diameter
  • Two silver plated filigrees
  • One sliver ox pronged setting for a 20mm stone
  • One dapped brass filigree, 20mm in diameter
  • One brass crown setting
  • One silver peacock coin pearl


Not Pictured:
  • One silver plated brass rivet
  • Eight tiny 5pp rhinestones
  • Sculpt Nouveau Antique Black Patina
  • E6000 adhesive
  • G-S Hypo Cement adhesive

1.) First I buffed the locket well with a brass brush in my Flex Shaft, washed it well, rinsed it in vinegar to remove any remaining grease, rinsed again and then applied the patina.  I use Sculpt Nouveau's Antique Black, but Swellegant (which is based on Sculpt Nouveau) works really well if you don't want or need large quantities.

Once the patina is where I want it,  I rinse it under clear water, dry it, then buff it again.

Raw Brass Locket: Before and After Patina & Polishing


2.) The locket isn't flat, so the filigree needs to be dapped to follow the contours of the locket.  I used a wood dapping block and the rounded end of one of my hammers to gently shape both filigrees.

Filigree inside dapping block

 3.) One side at a time and using spring clamps, glue the dapped filigrees to the clean locket with E6000, allowing the glue to set well before doing the other side.  My locket had a swedge hole on the front side, so the attachment is also reinforced with a rivet.  The rivet was a bit too long so it's not the tidiest riveting job, but it won't be seen so I am not concerned.  It is an aesthetic issue only.

4.) Remove the hanging loop from the setting; file smooth.  Glue setting to the front of the locket; clamp until set.


Locket front with filigree and setting

I had originally planned to stop here and finish the locket with a cabochon, but none of my hand cast resin ones looked quite right and I am out of 20mm stone or glass cabs.  

5.) Layer on the brass filigree atop the setting and secure with the prongs.
6.) Glue the crown setting atop the filigree.  Let dry.
7.) Set the coin pearl.
8.) Add the tiny rhinestones to the holes around the edge of the filigree, using G-S Hypo cement.


All it needs are the rhinestones

Here's the locket, ready for final finishing.  All it needs now is for me to police up any stray glue (I cannot abide visible glue or solder!) and then allow the entire piece to cure until tomorrow, at which time I will give the whole piece a thorough cleaning, tweak the patina, polish it well and then seal it with Renaissance Wax.


Ready for final cleaning, polishing and sealing.

Next time: the finished necklace!

Thank you for visiting my cyber workshop, and I hope you'll come back for more. 

~R.

P.S. I hope you are inspired to use these techniques to create your own original designs!

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful job Robin, and the photos are spectacular. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome; I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's my first tutorial, so I was a little nervous. :-)

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  2. fantastic Robin, really really wonderful

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  3. wow... now i want to make some of these, good thing it is not my skill set. they are just lovely. you are so generous to share this technical info. thank you for that.
    w.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy! You can do this; it's not difficult, and everybody's work looks different. I'm really glad I could help inspire. :-)

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  4. Yes thanks so much for showing this layering technique. I've been wanting to do jewelry like this but haven't tried yet. My Mom gave me a locket years ago and I want to try and redo it as the chain on it broke. I will have to see if I can find it.

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing your take on the layered locket! :-)

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  5. And your locket is gorgeous with the different metal colors against the black.

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    1. Thank you. If the finished necklace looks anything like what I am imagining, it will be a winner.

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  6. You did an amazing job with both the project and this tutorial! Thank you for sharing your expertise. You are always inspiring.

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    1. Goodness, Susan - I am honored by your praise. Thank you.

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  7. Wonderful job on the tutorial Robin. The locket is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your great technique. You are a fantastic artist! I am afraid I will never be that good.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it Bonnie! I'm glad to share; we all learn from each other, every time we see another artist's work. Please don't doubt yourself - you do lovely work that I have often admired. We're all learning, growing and evolving; personally, that's what I love most about what I do.

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  8. Wonderful tutorial..its easy to see why this project is so fabulous..you are a great designer and teacher.

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    1. Thank you, Harry! With practice I may catch up to you one day. :-)

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  9. Beautiful piece and great tutorial..thanks for sharing....and now I have a new blog to read......lol...

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  10. Good job Robin. I was just going to lurk but I do like what you've done and you've inspired me to put down the "good" stuff for awhile and get back to playing with patina. I had to respond.

    I've been thinking about how to combine the two to give the gold and silver pieces a new twist. I've been working on boring plunk in a stone(think semi-mount) whatevers.

    You've had a lot more time in and honestly I like some of your pieces better than I do my own. I guess what I am saying is that you challenge me. Thanks Robin. I appreciate that you are always willing to share.

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    1. Knowing I've inspired someone is one of the best feelings in the world! Thank you so very much.

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  11. OMG what a great tutorial, eay to follow, grat step by step pictures, loved it and the Awesome locket.

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  12. This was fantastic !! Thank you SO much for these absolutely perfect tutorials, you have given me the tools for executing my own creations...I just love the vintage elegance you create. I now have the confidence that my ideas can actually be accomplished, thanks to you.....you're the best. peace & love ~diane

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  13. Your pants, they bother me. Take them off! Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)

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