How I created this pair of bespoke crow cufflinks - from start to finish March 24 2015
Have you ever wondered how a bespoke piece goes from idea to completion? I'm going to show you how I turned this customer's idea into a really special present.
Laura contacted me at the end of October last year, wanting to create the perfect Christmas present for her other half. He loved birds, so she knew that she wanted crow's heads.
The first stage was to get the ideas flowing and to draw some crows! Beak open or beak shut? How much of the head and neck should be in the included in the design? This stage was a brainstorm, not for anyone's eyes but mine. (And now yours.)
Once I'd made some decisions about to move forward, I sent Laura some intial designs, and we chatted about the design - about what colours to go for, and which gemstones to use etc. (Pricing has been blocked out, as this was a gift! If you have any questions about pricing, drop me a line at email@example.com.)
Next, I made a prototype. This stage is partly for me, so I can have a practice run - get a feel of making a new piece before I grab the silver, gold and rubies. But I also sent a picture to Laura so she could check how things were coming along and make any changes if she wanted to.
This prototype was made in brass, with a spare gem I had lying around for the eye. I cut it out of thick, sheet brass, and built up the laters, soldering them together, filing them down, and adding the feather texture at the end.
Once Laura confirmed she was happy, I then went ahead and made them in silver, keeping her updated with photos...
Next, time to flush-set some rubies into the eyes....
I used laser-engraving to get a strong, clean line in the beak, and also to engrave the future owner's initials on the back.
And then the piece went to Hatton Garden in London for polishing and black ruthenium plating. When they came back, I couldn't wait to show Laura.