Button designs of Hanoverian courtiers reworked for modern men.
Alice Made This designer Alice Walsh has brought historic haberdashery of 18th century courtiers into the present day with her Collection 006 of cufflinks.
Walsh has made casts from original steel rivet courtier’s buttons, and created modern cufflinks using the ancient investment casting method.
Original investment casting involved the use of beeswax. Today, high technology waxes, refractory materials and specialist alloys are used to produce jewellery, ratchets, turbine blades, gears and complex machinery components.
The investment casting process starts with the creation of cold cure rubber moulds around the original ‘master’ cufflink. The rubber mould is injected with molten wax. Once dry, the wax is carefully removed from the rubber mould to allow it to harden. The wax replicas of the original button design are attached to a sprue to allow it to form a tree of cufflinks. The tree is set into a flask ready to invest.
A ceramic mixture, known as investment, is poured into the flask over the wax tree, filling the flask, all the while using vibration to bring air bubbles to the surface. The flask is then settled into an oven for overnight heating, drying the investment. Once dry the wax tree is vaporised through the use of heat.
Bronze granules are weighed and poured into the furnace where they slowly melt to a molten metal and heat to a temperature of 1095 degrees Celsius. The investment mould is placed in a sealed cavity under the molten metal, which is released into the investment, filling the wax tree footprint. The flask is removed, cooled and blasted by water jets to clean away the investment and reveal the cast bronze tree of cufflinks within.
The cufflinks are finally taken to be de-sprued, cleaned, soldered, polished and plated.
Alice Made This Collection 006 cufflinks are made in the jewellery capital of London, Hatton Garden, by a family run company Just Casting, highlighting the skills and expertise of materials and manufacturing in Britain.