Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Choose a locket that will be close to your heart | NWsource

Choose a locket that will be close to your heart
By Bree Coven Brown

March 9, 2011
NWsource staff

Velvet mechanism from Etsy was featured in The Seattle Times.
Great article. Inspiring...I love when Etsy sellers get recognized.

Lockets have a timeless appeal. They're more than mere fashion accessory -- they can contain a secret, tell a story, hold what is most dear to you close to your heart. Lockets are the perfect, personalized gift to commemorate a special occasion. And for many moms and grandmas, they're a wearable brag book (remember, Mother’s Day is coming on May 8).

I've become obsessed with lockets since I became a mother. The only thing more challenging than choosing which adorable photo of my son to wear around my neck is choosing the vessel to hold that photo. I've been looking for the perfect locket for months, and so far I've narrowed it down to 20. I've been amazed by the many gorgeous choices, vintage and modern, I've discovered along the way.

Have a heart
Lockets have been used for centuries to carry everything from perfumes to poisons, and from good luck charms to locks of hair from fallen soldiers. Heart-shaped lockets gained popularity in the Victorian era, a trend which endures today, symbolizing your beloved's heart resting on your own.

Velouria in Ballard carries a classic vintage brass heart locket ($42) by L.A.-based designer Edna Hart that's feminine and goes with everything. The tiny heart contains a turquoise-colored stone and dangles from a 17-inch, gold-filled chain. Agapantha makes another version ($52), also at Velouria, that jazzes up a brass heart locket with amethyst and coral charms for a splash of color.

Something Silver also offers a collection of lockets, including the Boma Sterling Silver Heart Padlock Locket Necklace ($44), for an edgier, more industrial-looking heart with oxidized padlock details.

Include a secret message
Local jewelry designer Sue Pess makes sterling silver lockets, sold exclusively at Essenza in Fremont, with a personal touch: a poem is installed inside. In the larger, oval lockets, the poem faces opposite the photo; in the smaller, round locket, it’s hand-written on a slim piece of accordion-folded stationery that unfolds in a graceful arc as the recipient unravels the message. The standard poem included reads: "May the sleeper awaken, may the bird be set free, may the door never close between you and me." Custom poetry or text can be included for an additional $20. These lockets come in various lengths and sell for $68-$88.

Vintage to modern
In addition to authentic vintage lockets and new pieces made with vintage finds, many designers are creating vintage-style lockets reminiscent of the necklace's history. Seattle designer Pussycat sells a lovely vintage-inspired brass locket and ivory ribbon necklace ($24) with a filigree face, dotted with a faux pearl. Another Etsy designer, Velvet Mechanism, has created a stunning Steampunk Silver Working Circle Locket Necklace by mounting a vintage Swiss watch on a Victorian-style locket embellished with purple Swarovski crystal (on sale for $39, marked down from $45). And a romantic, oversized, classic cameo locket, adorned by filigree, can be had for $23.99 on

But my favorite, at the top of my short list, is the Young Mr. Fox Victorian-style, antiqued brass locket ($28) by ThisYearsGirl, featuring adorable artwork of a young red fox dressed up in his Sunday best.

At the other end of the spectrum, Portland designer FreshyFig's Gunmetal Flower and Silver Locket Lariat Necklace ($36) pairs a modern black flower silhouette with a simple, silver-plated locket to create a lovely lariat with a sterling chain.

And Harry Potter fans will appreciate the Golden Snitch Locket (just $16) made by ViperCoraraDesigns in Monroe, Wash. (even muggles will admire the pretty wings and tiny, hinged brass ball, which opens up to hold a photo or trinket).

Uncommon finds
Bibliophiles will love the vintage book locket, carried by a pair of recycled brass patina swallows ($48), made by Portland artist Verabel. This feminine piece dangles from a delicate gold-filled chain.

The chalkboard pendant necklace ($28) by Haden Designs features a miniature oval chalkboard locket that comes with its own little chalk pencil, so you can write your own message, and change it up, as often as you like.

Laura Bee Designs in Ballard has a lovely locket collection, but it’s their cute, affordable locket alternatives that are truly unique: A mini dog-tag-like window photo necklace on a ball chain ($24) has clear glass to display images on both sides; and the popular photo bubble necklace encases any photograph in a miniature dome paperweight ($35).

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