Lock Pendant: Construction of a hollow formed object

Detail view...

Detail view...

A client contacted me for an original design.  He said he wanted a sterling silver lock for his fiancee  First, some preliminary sketches were completed and  I began working out of the procedure for constructing the lock. After a second set of sketches and approval of the design, I began building the lock.

First, the wire handle was formed, and filed flat on bottom.  Then the wire was soldered/joined to a sheet of silver larger than the base of the lock.  A large flat rectangle of silver was cut out to form the body of the lock. Using Sharpie the shape of the heart was drawn onto the silver. A hole was punched through the heart to create a place to run a sawblade through. The heart shape was then sawed out.

She really loves it.  Thank you so much for keeping it simple and elegant.  She also loved the chain! ~Rick F. Portland, PA.

Silver sheet was soldered to the backside of the heart to form the recess.  The rectangle was filed at the join, formed into the lock shape and soldered closed.
On a sheet of sterling silver, I traced the body of the lock.  Then c cut out a larger shape than I had traced.

Holes were punched into a sheet of silver to let hot air escape during the next stage of soldering.  If there is no air escape a fully closed object can explode when the torch is removed, and the object contracts rapidly due to cooler air temperature.  Found this little tidbit out on my own.  Kids , don’t try this at home, or anywhere else for that matter.

Sterling & Silversmyth were stamped onto the sheet of silver.  I then soldered the top and the bottom of the lock onto the body portion of the lock.  Though there was only a tiny amount of space on the bottom of the lock I hand engraved, original and my intials at the request of the customer.

After signing the bottom, the over-hanging silver sheet at the top and base of the lock had to be cut away.  The sharp edges had to be sanded off and the entire lock had to go through several stages of polishing.  Finally the lock got a jump ring added, and the lock with jump ring were placed into a tumbler with stainless steel shot and set to tumble for several hours.

Preliminary sketches

Preliminary sketches

As you can see from my description , a lot of labor goes into my work, but the results are very gratifying!

2 thoughts on “Lock Pendant: Construction of a hollow formed object

  1. Wow! This is a really neat experience to see the process of making sterling silver objects from sketch to final process. I am really glad you keep us newbies to silver smithing in the loop of the process. I have learned so much from your site. Your work is intriguing in that it is simple yet elegant.
    Do you buy your sterling new, or do you recycle scrap silver?

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