For love not money
27th July 2018
There are some jobs that you would never take on unless the customer has very deep pockets or it is a "love" job. Here are two of the latter.
Hand made chains
Almost all chains are machine made today. Machine made chains are usually made very light to a price point. Another problem is the way that the links are soldered shut.
Often machine made chain is created using wire that has a core/centre of solder. There are other ways but this is a common one that highlights my point. That solder has a lower melting point than the outside metal.
Once all the links are formed they are heated on mass until the solder core of the wire flows and hopefully closes all the links. When this fails you get a faulty chain.
When a tradesman forms every link by hand and then individually solders them shut you get a much stronger chain. Down side is that takes many....many hours.
The finer the chain the harder to work on and the more links to work with. These took somewhere between 20 and 40 hours each to make. To be honest I stopped counting. No one could normally afford that if you billed it out.
These chains were made for family members. The lighter one was for my youngest son`s 19th birthday and was about 3 weeks late. Sorry Alistar.
Five years in the planning
I started playing with the layout of this ring five years ago and despite that I was late by a month. My family often take a back seat to my work so they were not surprised at how long it took for this to eventuate.
Most people cannot afford the time that goes into planning a one off design. The time just adds up if you want it to be right and this took a very long time.
The ring was a gift to my oldest son for his 21st. It was created in 9ct yellow gold and weighs 18 grams. Once finished I dipped it in a liquid that gives it that aged look and polished back the higher metal.
Usually I would ruthenium plate the lower areas black but thought I would try this softer darkening I had seen another jeweller use in an attempt to achieve a softer antique look.
I will make another one in two years time when my other son turns 21. It will be much quicker the next time.