Jim Anderson worked for a large high tech company in Boise, Idaho as a Mechanical Engineer for over 30 years. He is an inventor on more than 23 patents relating to disc and tape drive technology. In addition to his love for designing complex mechanical parts he enjoys woodworking in his shop at home.
While watching "The Illusionist" Jim was intrigued by the locket that was shown in the movie. This locket transformed from an oval into a heart shape and opened to mysteriously reveal a picture. There was no apparent way the locket could function in this way without tearing the picture in half. He started thinking about various designs to make similar lockets as gifts for his wife and daughter. He gave a crude prototype of his favorite concept to his wife for Mothers Day in 2007. His wife and many of her friends were fascinated with the beauty and cleverness of this design. Upon opening the locket in the oval position it revealed a large non-split picture.
It was especially fun to watch people’s reaction from surprise when the locket was opened in the heart configuration to reveal a different picture. People would typically want to grab it to try and figure out how it worked and it became a very interesting conversation piece with all who saw it. After seeing the positive reaction to the locket, he was further motivated to continue working on it. He made dozens of prototype components testing every aspect of the locket and many hundreds of hours later the design was perfected. He had a patent search done on the locket and nothing close to his design was found so he decided to form a small business and apply for a patent. Thus Illusion Lockets LLC was born. He purchased a CNC milling machine and recruited the help of his wife and 4 children in helping with the business.
Jim has combined his love of wood working with his skill as an Engineer to create a locket that is truly unique. Through the use of 10 tiny but powerful magnets that either repel or attract each other the locket components flip into their desired locations almost mysteriously. In addition to the magnets, the locket contains 5 locating balls to precisely align the pieces together so that it will reliably twist into the various configurations without catching. Adding to the uniqueness of this locket is that both pictures are surrounded by inlayed brass picture frames that also function as a rotation housing for pivoting the locket between the oval and heart shape.
Jim loves the beauty and variety that wood offers and wishes others could experience the different smells of each type of wood as it is sanded and polished to perfection. Because each type of wood is so unique he thinks it is the perfect material for making custom jewelry. He also enjoys the hunt for the most beautiful woods in the world. Where possible, all of his woods are injected with a plastic polymer to stabilize the wood and ensure that the beauty of the wood will be preserved for many years. The bails of the lockets are made from solid 14 Ct yellow, 14 Ct white gold or sterling silver. The butterfly pattern is machined into the wood and then filled with a white epoxy resin, solid 14 Ct gold or silver butterfly parts. He hopes that you enjoy showing your locket to others as much as he and his wife have.