Commission: platinum weave

22 04 2013

It’s been some time now since I was commissioned through Lord Coconut to make these items, but I’ve waited to post about them because they were a gift. While it’s not likely the recipient even knows of my blog, I didn’t want to risk spoiling the surprise.

This was the first time I’ve been commissioned by someone I didn’t personally know, through a representative gallery (well, they’re my only stockist to date).

Platinum Commission; image not to be reproduced without permission

Platinum Commission; image not to be reproduced without permission

Initially the client wanted a gift for her partner for their 20th anniversary, and as such platinum was to be a significant component. I understand she liked a number of the cufflinks in the gallery, and after a few iterations of ideas she asked if I could do my round weave cufflinks in platinum (with the settings in sterling silver). After investigating that A&E Metals could make me the platinum cloisonné wire I needed, I agreed.

It was then a bit exciting that she also asked for a matching pendant for herself (with the bezel in sterling silver; if you’re wondering, the bezels are deliberately file-textured).

In sending Lord Coconut the quote for the work, I had to make very accurate calculations for the pure platinum cloisonné wire requirements – as it was approximately $345 per meter (and the minimum order was one meter). So each little row of a 20mm weave (including the turns) was around $10 or so.

By way of comparison, at the time (from memory) one meter of fine silver cloisonné (0.8 * 0.15mm) was $2.20 and one meter of fine gold cloisonné (which I think was 0.20mm) was $240 … the difference to platinum being in part due to the metal being more expensive, but I think mostly due to the special manufacture.

Platinum commission; image not to be reproduced without permission

Platinum commission; image not to be reproduced without permission

I hadn’t worked with fine platinum cloisonné before, and was uncertain it would behave the same way that fine silver did. I probably should have expected it would, given the thinness of the flat wire sheet; though I did fear it may split and not be as malleable.

I swear I didn’t breathe the whole time I was weaving the panel … one mistake, one split in the metal, one break in the paper (which would mean attempting to unwind the weave and again risking breaking the metal) … the thought of making a mistake and having to buy more metal (and at a minimum of a meter per order, not to mention the week for manufacture and postage) was terrifying!

The fact it was platinum may seem extravagant at first viewing – with the exceptional cost of the metal compared to silver – but I do understand the desire for integrity and symbolism for such a special gift.

You can actually tell the difference to silver when they’re side-by-side: the platinum is less shiny, a slightly more matt grey. I like the platinum a lot, in fact I think I prefer it to silver … though cannot see myself playing around with platinum any time soon (except for commissions)!

My thanks to Mark at Lord Coconut for this opportunity.


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One response

23 04 2013
Lord Coconut

It’s always great working with a jeweller and client to make up something unique.




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