Tips and Tutorials:
How to make Juri's locket
To make a locket the way I did, you will need these materials:
A big gold-coloured locket and chain which you don't mind messing up (you can get cheap'n'nasty ones from markets or Ebay)
Polymer clay, preferably gold
Metallic gold acrylic paint (brushing it on is much easier, but you'd probably get a better effect with spray-paint)
A short length of metal wire, or a kebab skewer in a pinch.
OK, this isn't going to be a terribly helpful tutorial, because frankly nothing very clever goes into making this one. It's just really, really fiddly and it may take you a few tries.
You know what I'm going to say first, right? Find a zillion gazillion pictures of the item you're trying to make and stare at them until you know *exactly* what it ought to look like. Refer back to them a lot. This one's a difficult one to find pictures of and I'm feeling generous, so click here for a zip file of some handy pics.
Take your locket off the chain and open it. (The only reason you're taking the chain off is that I find it tends to swing around and catch on the clay, messing up your work.) The locket is going to stay open while you're making the rose shape out of clay, because it gives you something to hold it by (the back) while you're making clay shapes on the front. If there's a pattern on the front of the locket, good; if not, it might be a good idea to scratch up the front a bit with a pair of scissors, so that the clay has a better grip on the locket.
Press a thin layer of clay over the front of the locket, and trim it around the edges with a knife or fingernail so that it won't interfere with the locket closing when it's baked. This will act as a base for the rose shape, and also marks off the edges of the clay part (ie, if you go over the base you're in danger of getting into the locket hinges or stopping it from closing once it's baked)
Now make the design. There's really very little I can say to help you with this bit; it generally takes me five or six goes before I'm satisfied, and every time you mess up you have to pull all the clay off the locket and start again. Make the rose petals separately, by rolling a small ball of clay (smaller than you think you need!) and flattening it between two fingers to make a round or oval petal shape. It doesn't matter if your petal shapes are uneven; real petals are.
(Actually, just a little tip; if you look at the locket you'll see that the rose's 'heart' sticks out diagonally. Make the heart by rolling small 'petals' around each other so that they overlap unevenly. Then wrap the larger 'petals' around it and press the whole thing onto the locket.)
Once you've got the design on the locket, you need to bake it. Use the wire to suspend the locket (still open) in a cold oven, so that there's no danger of the clay design touching anything. Bring the temperature up slowly, bake, and let it cool slowly in the oven.
Once the locket is cool, make sure it opens and closes OK. If there's any clay in the way, you can trim it with a sharp knife. Now paint the clay design gold (if you're spraying it, remember to cover the exposed metal parts with artist's tape or clingfilm or something first!) and allow to dry. Be careful to get gold paint into all the nooks and crannies in the design.
As for the photo of Shiori, I've given you the image I used; it's FilmBook1-78.jpg in the zip file from Step 1. A bit of image editing may be required to get it the right size - print it on some shiny photo paper and cut it out, then just put it into the locket.
And you're done! Hope it turned out well ^_^
Click on the thumbnail below to see what I ended up with.
Content and graphics © Jongleur 2004
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