Meet Gabriele Landolt
Winner, Advanced Category, Hidden Worlds Challenge

locket with globe inside by Gabrielle Landolt

Hide the Precious, Gabrielle Landolt

Gabriele’s winning piece, Hide the Precious, is an intricate hinged locket which opens to reveal a glimpse of brilliant color hidden behind a second hinged cover. Opening the final compartment reveals a miniature planet Earth in cloisonné enamel. Made of fine silver, the locket features a cymophane and 24K gold plating.

“While the word “hide” can mean to keep something from view, it also describes the act of concealing an item for protection and safekeeping. I like the concept of lockets and the idea of wearing an object of sentimental value close to one’s heart,” says Gabriele. “With all the catastrophic events that have been occurring lately, I believe that our planet is in desperate need of some protection and safekeeping, which inspired my locket.”

Gabriele discovered metal clay when she was experimenting with epoxy resin and bought a book on mixed media jewelry. The book featured projects using metal clay, which piqued her interest. “I had always wanted to try my hand at traditional metalsmithing, but I was reluctant to purchase all the tools needed for it. In contrast, the tools needed to start working in metal clay are few and simple. I bought my first 10-gram package of fine silver metal clay and became hooked!

locket by Gabrielle Landolt

Hide the Precious closed

Gabriele is entirely self-taught, and her learning resources have mostly been books, plus online videos or classes. “Most of my learning process has been through trial and error. As I love to experiment, I enjoy playing with various techniques and I’m constantly looking for new ones to incorporate into my projects.”

“I love to experiment with other mediums, and I have combined epoxy resin, glass, concrete, found objects, and enamel with various types of metal clay. I love the malleability of metal clay, as well as the way it can be carved and textured.”

Gabriele’s advice to others considering metal clay as a medium? “Just do it! Start small and get a feel for the material. As many tools required for working in metal clay are rather basic, the initial investment is not huge

There are so many great on-line resources available that finding information is not difficult. The metal clay community is also very generous in sharing information; if you run into any problems you can always find help to troubleshoot. Most importantly though is that you experiment and just have fun with it!

Gabriele is a Professor of Equine Medicine at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Colorado State University. Her research focuses on equine infectious respiratory pathogens such as equine influenza virus.