Repair -v- remake

10 04 2016

You may know the dread … when you receive an email (or call) from a gallery you sell jewellery through, that a piece has come in for ‘repair’. Horrid scary word: repair.

I received just this request recently from the most excellent Lord Coconut … a client had brought in a pair of my Onyx cufflinks which had broken after only a few wears.

The horror. As this pair was in my first collection for the gallery, I had visions of my soldering to be to blame. I had visions of all my cufflinks needing to be repaired (an overreaction, but it happened).

Weirdly, it seems that the failure was actually the base of the (manufactured) bezel. Though it must be said that it was a relief that it wasn’t my soldering.

In fact, the part of the bezel base that failed was where I had soldered (seemingly magnificently) the cufflink stirrup fitting to the bottom. See in the below photograph – just completely ripped the metal away (and strangely without buckling the metal back at all); that missing little square of metal is solidly adhered to the stirrup on the now-unattached cufflink fitting.

back of broken bezel ... after I'd unset the weave and perspex (hence the mangled edge)

back of broken bezel … after I’d unset the weave and perspex (hence the mangled edge)

Totally unpredictable, and in fact I cannot even conceive that the base could be torn away like this. The metal is thin (I use manufactured bezels for these pieces; it’s the significant compromise I made/agreed to keep to a low customer-end price-point) … but still.

So anyway … I haven’t made cufflinks for over two years. I have no studio. And effectively, due to the construction of these pieces, it is a full remake, there’s no ‘repair’ about it.

You can imagine my total relief when my fabulous old studio buddy said I could pop in and use her bench and tools and things. I love awesome people.

And it all went smoothly. Well, when I say smoothly, but I did have to remake both cufflinks, as the bezel on the unbroken cufflink was higher than any bezels I had at hand – see how much wider the old, unbroken (right), bezel setting is in the image below, compared to the new (left) one. In fact, you can also see the thinness of the bezel fold on the right side of the old cufflink, that thing was at risk of failure if knocked in the wrong spot …

new on left, old on right ... note different bezel set thicknesses ... boo

new on left, old on right … note different bezel set thicknesses … boo

… so the client has a whole new set of sassy cufflinks.

Hoorah! I wish him many more years of enjoyment and wearing these.

new cufflinks (with previous weave)

new cufflinks (with original weave)

Commission: woven cufflinks

4 12 2013

A friend (who has previously commissioned me for a pendant and earrings) asked me to make some cufflinks for him. He’s a most stylish man, so this pleased me.

He selected a charcoal and a hot pink; he wasn’t sure which one he wanted, so I agreed to make both. Excellent indeed.

I secretly would love to see these two colours together, but he’s more conservative than that.

hot pink and anthracite woven cufflinks; image not to be reproduced without permission

hot pink and anthracite woven cufflinks; image not to be reproduced without permission

After making these, he decided to chose the charcoal ones.

The hot pink ones therefore will be off to Lord Coconut in the next few days. I do hope someone thinks they’ll be a magnificent festive-season gift!

An important note: I sell my woven cufflinks exclusively through Lord Coconut, and as I want to maintain a good relationship there I checked in with the gallery owner if this commission was okay with him before I started making. And as this is a dear friend, of course it’s okay – naturally makers want to make for friends!

And more cufflinks

25 10 2013

I’ve experimented with some prototype cufflinks for Lord Coconut, made using wedding invitation papers.

Given my cufflinks are simply paper woven with silver (protected under a layer of 1mm clear perspex), it’s relatively easy to incorporate papers of (nearly) any kind.

It interesting though that the pattern on the paper be so clear, yet it can either disappear or be accentuated by the weaving.

"Paris by Night"; image not to be reproduced without permission

“Paris in Silver”; image not to be reproduced without permission

The pattern for the cufflinks above center on the heart-shape shown on the paper just below the actual cufflink.

And those below on the bowl-and-fountain (erm, best description I could think of at the time!) icon.

"Florentine in Silver"; image not to be reproduced without permission

“Florentine in Silver”; image not to be reproduced without permission

I wonder if they’ll appeal?

On a similar topic – the idea of weaving sentimental papers into cufflinks really appeals to me – though I’m sure if I am ever asked to do that for a client that I’ll be pretty darn nervous! Like I did with my Nana’s trifle recipe brooch, I’d likely do a very high quality scan first as a means of saving the document (in a way) … anyway, that’s for the future.

‘Art of the Cuff’ @ Lord Coconut

4 10 2013

What is it about me and exhibition visiting lately?! I cannot seem to manage to get to all the shows I want to see … and those I do manage I’m there on the last days. Sigh … I really will have to try better.

Anyhoo, I did make it to Lord Coconut today and Art of the Cuff is a visual extravaganza!

photograph with permission

photograph with permission

You can see mine way up there in the top corner.

Many of the cuffs have been used as canvasses for painting, drawing, intervention with other materials; some also have coordinating cufflinks … see Lord Coconut’s page for detailed images of each piece and also the Facebook album.

photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Unfortunately it was a bit of a rush visit and I didn’t have the chance (nor sadly the artistic fortitude on this particular day!) to inspect each piece. There’s so much to see, and because of that I’m glad for the excellent photographs taken by Lord Coconut – allowing more thought and consideration at a later time.

photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Also check out last year’s exhibition page and Facebook album too.

Art of the Cuff‘ is at Lord Coconut as part of Melbourne Fringe 2013 until 5th October 2013 (extended to) 16th October 2013.