One craft I’ve never covered before on the blog is cufflink-making – design, yes, but not making.
The photographs here are of Bill Skinner, who makes links for Duchamp and others from his workshop in Otford, Kent. This is not bespoke jewellery to compare to Diana Maynard – who makes the Permanent Style links – but there is a lot of care required nonetheless, particularly in the finishing.
The tin alloy they are made of is heated up to 320 degrees centigrade, before being poured into the moulds that Bill has created. Those moulds are spun at about 600 rpm to ensure the metal gets into every part of the mould. The casts are then taken out, separated from the central spider of alloy and filed down.
That careful filing, finishing and setting of the various stones takes the greatest time and concentration.
Thanks to Jonathan Daniel Pryce for the photography.