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Sterling Silver and Garnet Locket

Natasha Wozniak of Jersey City, N.J., has gone from polishing rings at a jewelry store to designing her own jewelry.

When Natasha Wozniak was 16, she had determined she wanted to be an artist, so she took her first job polishing rings at a jewelry store. It wasn't the ultimate creative outlet, but it set in motion a desire to design her own jewelry. In this project, she shows how she has fulfilled that dream since then with one of her unique and elegant creations — a sterling silver and garnet locket.

Materials and Tools:

sterling silver
pitch (pine resin substance)
carbon paper
steel chasing tools
half-round wire
solder
garnet
jump rings
silver tubing
hinge pin
pumice powder

Steps:

1. For the front of the locket: Make a precise drawing of your design.

2. Place silver into pitch (pine resin substance that supports it while doing the chasing and repousse) and transfer the front cover design onto the metal with carbon paper.

3. Begin creating the flowers and leaves using the steel chasing tools.

4. Remove the piece from the pitch by heating, and after burning the remaining pitch off, turn it over and place it again in the pitch.

5. Use the repousse tools to push out the petals and leaves from behind. Engrave the stems on the reverse side of the front cover.

6. Bend the frame for the front cover from half-round wire with pliers and fit the pieces together.

7. Bend and fit together the wires that will make the stems on the front of the cover. Solder the frame and the stems on top of the metal sheet that has the flowers and leaves applied to it.

8. Saw the extra metal from around the frame with the jeweler's saw. Solder on latch for locket.

9. Form bezel around the stone and solder the ends together. Then re-fit the bezel around the stone. Solder the bezel onto the front of the locket.

10. For the inside of the locket: Draw a precise design for the inside of the locket.

11. Bend a thin strip of silver to create the outer edge of the locket.

12. Cut a thick sheet of silver to fit into the top area of the frame. Use chasing tools to create the design on this piece.

13. Solder the outer edge of the metal as well as the thick insert sheet onto a sheet of silver that will form the back of the locket, as well as the small metal balls that will hold the photo.

14. Cut away the excess silver sheet from around the sides of the locket.

15. Solder on the jump ring at the top of the locket.

16. To put the locket together: While holding the locket sides together, use a round file to create a groove for the hinge.

17. Cut five identical pieces of tubing for the hinge. Mark the groove on the locket so that there are five segments the length of each piece of tubing and, using those markings, set up the hinge soldering operation.

18. Solder the hinge. Add loop for chain, made from half-round wire.

19. Create bezel for small stone on the clasp of the chain. Solder clasp together on both ends of the chain.

20. Insert the hinge pin.

21. Set the stone on the front of the locket with a steel bezel-pusher, as well as the stone on the clasp.

22. Use pumice powder and a brush to create a soft matte finish.

Website: www.natashajewelry.com

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