I found this vintage pill-box featuring male and female lions from YummyTreasures shop on Etsy and knew I wanted to make it into a necklace. This was one of those pieces of jewelry where the idea came easy but the engineering it took to make the idea into reality was a lot more difficult.

The box opened and I wanted it to still open once I made it into a necklace. Furthermore, I wanted to place an image inside the box, seal it with resin, and still have it open. Plus I had to figure out how to suspend an object below the box and create attachments for the chain and – yes – have it open.

The first task was darkening the box, adding the image, and then pouring the resin. I knew I couldn’t drill any holes yet because the resin would seep out. Once that was done, I thought about how to hang the pendant below. OK what really happened was me auditioning 70 kazillion pendants trying to find the right one until I settled on this chunk of carnelian from the early to mid 1900’s.

The carnelian piece is not drilled straight across. It is drilled from both sides into a V shape in the middle. The place where the two drill holes met was really small. No wire wanted to go in and come out the other side. Because it was heavy, I knew I couldn’t use wire thin enough to get through. I had to find a way to make it work. You know how it is at this point – your heart is now set on it, no other bead will work, you have to find a way. I ended up using .19 Beadalon which I then needed to figure out how to terminate. I drilled holes on either side of the catch, fed the Beadalon up thru the holes, added seed beads where I needed to cover the Beadalon and crimped it – two times. Double bagging it for strength. Covered both up with a large crimp cover.

Because I still needed it to open.

Adding the attachments for the chain, far less dramatic. I just needed to stay away from the hinges and all was fine. Here’s the inside – part of a vintage French dictionary page permanently sealed in resin.

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