Continuing my progression into metalsmithing, 3 weeks ago I started a 6-week course in using the hydraulic press.
This class introduces you to making dimensional jewelry by forming metal into puffed shapes using matrix die-cut forms and the hydraulic press. Our project was to make a locket or hollow form pendant. I opted for the more challenging project - a locket.
In addition to learning how to make the metal forms, we would also learn how to rivet set a stone to a domed piece and how to tube rivet to connect together the locket halves.
Along the way we also cut a 1/8 inch wide silver bezel to make 2 very thin bezels (half of 1/8 inch), embellish the bezels (make very tiny cuts in the bezel) and to recover from a stone falling out of the finished setting.
After my first session, I stayed in the studio and made 6 pairs of copper pressed forms - it was very addicting! I even purchased the matrix die-cuts that evening from BananaNan. I now have several more pieces in different stages, including a pair of oval copper and sterling earrings.
So what do you think? BTW, if you are interested, I have a Facebook photo album that chronicles the locket process.