I had a quiet chuckle when I saw your query on the list. In WA
we have a project called the Premier’s Gift Commissioning
Project… it is supported by the Premier of the State… ( a bit
like the governor of a USA state) and the local state craft body.
The idea is to have local craftspeople design and manufacture a
range of objects that feature Western australian themes, flora,
mining etc . all to be made in WA. Local government,
parliamentarians, the corporate world , individuals, are
encouraged to buy them. They are all nicely packaged with a label
explaining the design, the maker and with a Government seal on
the label. All great selliing points. I was lucky enough to be
chosen in 1994 for a design of a lapel pin/tie tac which featured
a rough Argyle diamond. I took a punt and decided to have the
stem cast in situ on the back, thinking I would probalby sell
about 100 over the next two years. Well I have just ordered the
800!! The thought of soldering on 800 backings would really take
away a lot of pleasure!!
I thought I would mention the project in case someone might like
to import it into their own state!
some things to take note
Make the stem about10% longer to allow for shinkage. Make it out
of slightly thicker wire, so that when it shrinks the clutch back
wont fall off Make sure it is perfect before you rubber it have a
good rubber maker, it you dont do it yourself. The mould maker/
caster really hates making them because the waxes are fiddley to
do with this "blasted ? pin sticking out. I harden the stem by
putting it in a hand held pin vise, give it a couple of turns I
run fine sandpaper, on a dowell stick, over the ends, take the
cutters and make a deeper groove and thats it.
I have just been chosen for the next project, and once again am
making a tie tac, lapel pin. and will stick with the same method.
Felicity in west Oz where spring is in the air!