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Silver cuff bracelets appropriate thickness

While I agree that many cuff bracelets and bangles are made by
some combination of forging and saw piercing, the suggestion that
other methods of construction such as casting, or for that matter
fabrication involving soldering, cannot remain unchallenged. The
fact is that we choose the techniques of jewellery construction to
what we wish to express and achieve. [snip]

Its good to read a well outlined point of view, on what suits you in
this trade.

Would you have a moment to add some thoughts on how long it actually
took you, in time, from start to finish to make the cuff bracelet you
illustrate? It would seem that like the Incas, you made the best use
of materials and techniques that were available to you.

Much as I appreciate casting as a technique, I ask myself how would
I make your design via the wrought route? with the equipment I have
available? And, how long do I think it would take me to make it?
Assuming I thought it was a design that would fit in with my
marketing plans.

Because, you see, I could be at “Art in Action” at Oxford, when
24,000 serious collectors come to view over 5 days.

If someone sees this design and desires it, Ill need at least 20 of
them in stock covering the 3 average wrist sizes, to make sure I
dont miss a sale.

I could make to order, but from the customers point of view, theres
no substitute to having it there and then.

apart from ensuring that they have the right size, and have
explained to them how to put it on and take it off.

as I outlined in a previous post on the 24th, it depends on how you
see your work, and how long do you think its design life is meant to

Interesting times!.

Casting cuff bangles is no big deal.

There is no porosity and they plenty strong

Check out:

Hi Ted,

You raise an interesting point but it indicates that my approach to
jewellery making, and critically the market we are seeking to fulfil
are quite different.

Typically for production cast lines of lost wax castings an master
is fabricated (in this case three masters) and these are used to make
rubber moulds for wax injection. The problem with this particular
bracelet is I’m not sure how the rubber mould could be cut to allow
ready removal of either the master or the waxes. Others with more
expertise than in mould making might be able to answer this — maybe
a two stage process involving a core of water soluble wax and an
outer layer of injection wax. It’s a bit outside of my comfort zone
but at least it started my brain ticking over.

The alternative would be using a suitable 3D CAD program and a high
resolution wax 3D printer. This might also solve the problem of
creating three different sizes. Again beyond my resources and
capabilities bur rather tantalising.

To get down to earth ant the actual bracelet. The first wax pattern
took me maybe two hours or so from sheet wax to sprued pattern on the
base ready for investing. Burnout and casting was one flask in my
casting run. Sprue removal, clean up, silver raising, pickling and
polishing maybe another hour with three hours in the tumbler while I
was doing other work not included. I could not knock out 60 bangles
this way.

However, for better or worse, this is not the market I’m aiming for
with this piece. Rather this bangle is intended as an individual or
perhaps a small series of individual pieces where the potential
purchaser understands that the piece is unique. In fact much of my
work is by very nature individual pieces because their design is such
that they can’t provide a parting line for rubber moulding but
usually the pattern can be made and sprued in less time that the
bangle took. When I made the bangle I did so as an experiment to see
if it would work. It did.

I do other work that involves master moulds and wax injection and if
necessary I could knock out a job lot by outsourcing the casting
just fabricating and finishing myself

Jenifer Gow
Tears of the Moon Artisan Jewellery

Hi Jenifer,

thank you for your full and detailed reply.

This then requires a thoughtful reply which I hope you may

Your comment as to us having different markets, were not really all
that different.

When im at an exhibition, my prices range from as low as ?10, to as
much as ?3000.

with bracelets ranging from the around ?7 to as much as ?250,
depending on the metal used.

So looking at your design, which ill say would be quite out of
character from the rest of my work, I see it as a strip of metal some
1in wide by say 6 to 8 in long with holes in it.

To make this here as a one off,

  1. Id cut the strip off a larger sheet

  2. center punch where the holes will go

  3. drill the larger ones first, then the smaller ones

  4. countersink the bevel into the holes both sides

  5. dome the strip between 2 dies one convex and one concave in No 2
    fly press, I use these a lot.

  6. sand and shape on a linisher then polish both sides all edges to
    a smooth surface primarily witha 3M scotchbrite wheel

  7. bend around a tapered steel “T” stake, this one is a floor
    standing one some 3ft high by 28in across the top.

  8. apply makers marks, date etc I estimate the whole process @ 55
    mins for one.

If i planned to make say 20 off, then id punch the holes, and make
up 2 dies suitable for reshaping the hole edges as per your design.

Probably save some 7 to 10 mins off the production time.

Being wrought, Id be able to make it in almost any metal I chose.

Even in titanium, which is most difficult to work, it would look
stunning fire oxidised a deep heaven blue.

You would need a big hammer for that metal!!.
Hope this is of interest.