Friday, December 20, 2013

A Race to the Finish...

Oh my, what a busy time this last part of the year has been!  But busy for a solo goldsmith is a GOOD thing so I am not complaining one little bit.  I can sleep in January.

Last thing on my workshop schedule was a prototype to develop one of my favourite designs - the pearl and hydrangea memory 'locket' that I have making for the last year and a bit.  The first one I made, was for my Mother's 60th birthday.

Memory Locket for Mum, April 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Memory Locket for Mum, April 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
With this one, I used a vintage pearl from my paternal Grandmother's necklace, a hydrangea petal from my Mum's garden and a picture of my sister's wedding bouquet (which was composed of shocking pink hydrangeas) for the picture.

I then made a second one for my sister as a wedding present.  This one used another vintage pearl, leaves from her husband's button hole and a picture of her bouquet.

Wedding Present for Cora, August 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
And then a client asked me if this design could actually open, be more like a traditional locket.  I toyed with the issue of adding a hinge to the design but decided against it as I didn't want to disrupt the clean lines of the circular shape. To make sure it was going to work....I made a full material prototype.  We are not doing anything by halves in the Hybrid Handmade workshop!

Prototype swivel Hydrangea and Pearl locket, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2013
 Regular Hybrid Handmaders will know that I am fascinated by the hidden spaces within jewellery.  I invest as much time in the back of my pieces as I do on the front.  I install obscured details that will only be seen by the owner when they take the piece off.  It's a quality and attention to detail that I feel is one of the hallmarks of my work.  It is wonder therefore that I didn't develop this piece sooner.

Below, shows the interior of the locket, looking at the reverse of the 'pearl pocket' which I have given a little hydragea petal texture.  The back of the pendant has the same texture, but it is not patinated as this face will sit against the skin.  The surface of the interior compartment has had silver 'dust' soldered and fused to it.  A tiny interior landscape that is just a delight to find hidden away.

Prototype swivel Hydrangea and Pearl locket, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2013, interior detail
And then of course the most important part.  The secret chamber for the photograph.  For the moment, I've placed my little Hybrid Handmade Helpers in there, just to test the scale and to show that the size allows for a legible photograph to be inserted into this space.

Prototype swivel Hydrangea and Pearl locket, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2013, interior detail
It was in the fading winter light that I took these photographs.  Racing against the close of the day at the end of the week.

Elsewhere today, I'd like to take the time to celebrate the achievements of Pamela Bates of the blog, The Muse.  It has been a long held ambition of Pam's to publish.  And this week she did just that.  I happily read the first edition of her magazine, The Muse over on Issuu, from cover to cover.  After a hectic week it was a perfect little winter pick me up.  Her wonderful photographs, recipes and craft tutorial got me in the mood for a gear change. I highly recommend you have a look.  I was actually surprised to find myself in there on page 13.  I did an interview with Pam earlier in the year which she published on her blog.  It was funny reading over my answers to her questions again!

Bon Weekend mes amis!  I think I can smell the mulled wine from here!


  1. It's fascinating to see how one's work can evolve based on the needs of another. Thank you for sharing the link to The Muse. It has such beautiful photography in it, and I loved looking through the articles...especially yours :)

  2. I love the way you take something quite traditional (locket) (or cameo for my wedding jewellry) and give it a whole new perspective. Lovely lovely lovely


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