Tuesday, 24 February 2015

How I make silver cuff

Recently I've been commission to make an old favourite piece - I probably haven't had the opportunity to make this cuff for two or three years. Luckily I thought to photograph the process for a change, so here's the gestation of my 'diva' cuff (for she is the queen of all my cuffs, and she knows it!).

This snap shows the silver sat on my sketch book. You can see a few bits of early sketches and the original piece of lace that inspired the cuff. In the middle is the sketch on tracing paper applied to the silver. Each space that has to be cut out has a whole drilled into it. This is so I can thread the saw blade through it and then cut out the shape.

Here you can see the back and front of the silver with all the interior shapes cut out.


Then I cut around the outside of the cuff.

This picture shows the cuff with the tracing paper and double sided tape burnt off, hence the brown tinge. The heating of the metal softens it enough to file and shape.

After this, I sent off to the Assay Office in Birmingham where it was hallmarked.

When it came back I spent a very long time filing every edge, nook and cranny, to make it as smooth as possible and remove any saw marks.

Once I'm happy with the overall look and feel of it, I shape the cuff around a large steel mandrel which gives it the distinctive cuff shape. Using a hammer made of hide, I bash it into submission, and then polish it, partly by hand, partly with an attachment on my Dremmel and partly in a polishing machine.


And here's the final cuff, ready for packing and posting to Juliet - hope she likes it!

And here is the gorgeous poster-girl photo taken by my lovely photographer and friend Clare!

And just in case you want one yourself, you can purchase her by clicking here...