Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Copper Shell Box Reveals Its Secret

Boxes, hinges, latches, and lockets – adding functionality, dimensional form and compartments that can hide secrets to your work.  My copper shell box hides a lovely free form pearl that is secured to the inside with copper prongs.
Here is a hinged box that I made with a friction clasp. This is a simple hinge created with copper tubing for the knuckles and the hinge pin is a brass rod that fits snugly inside. Just like with rivets it’s important that the hinge pin is the correct size. It will be much easier to flare the ends with a snug fit.
On the left and right of the Shell are the plexi-glass die and the rubber build-up I used to push the metal in the die. A very low tech way to add volume to your work.
One of my favorite books is sure to inspire and instruct you is Tim McCreight’s The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes & Lockets.  This book will take you from the basics to complex construction. Chapter 2 covers hinges and lids, with pages 49 – 50 explaining how to make the basic hinge.  The photos and the step by step instructions are clear and concise. Tim includes tips to make the hinge stronger and soldering using a clamp made from a coat hanger. This is just one example of the detailed and helpful information packed into this book. This book is a must read for any jeweler or metalsmith wanting to add a more enticing tactile element to their work.

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