Keepsake Cufflink Earrings
This was a really lovely commission to take on as the person I made the earrings for is a good friend of mine.
My neighbours sister's daughter is called Stacey and I first met her whilst I was working at Stills in Edinburgh, many many moons ago. She came to volunteer for a few days and helped us set up an exhibition. I distinctly remember trying to figure out IKEA instructions with here for some tables we needed to erect and the funny thing is, is that one of those same tables is now in residence in my greenhouse all these years later.
A few years ago new neighbours moved in to the right of us - a really lovely couple that I soon discovered were Stacey's aunt and uncle - I couldn't believe it - they knew all about us already from Stacey and through them I got to know Stacey's mum too.
Stacey's dad died recently and in November her mum popped by the studio and asked if I could make her some jewellery from some old cufflinks that belonged to him. She took two very unusual cufflinks out of a box and showed them to me. There were no hallmarks and so we couldn't tell whether the metal was silver or pewter or something else. The cufflinks were like tiny little tribal masks that were not identical and I loved them instantly, but had no idea what I would do with them.
We discussed brooches, pendants but eventually settled on earrings and I said I would come up with some ideas and present these to her before commencing on any work. Both cufflinks had a bail on the back and were a lovely pointy oval shape. I instantly felt I should create the earrings using some of my antique spoons and found a pair that echoed the shape of the cufflinks.
The spoon bowls were shaped, filed and sanded. I then hammered the surface of each and a slit was cut for the bails of the cufflinks to pass through. I had to avoid using any heat on the actual cufflinks as I didn't know what type of metal they were made from and so had to devise a complicated means of attaching them to the hammered spoon bowls.
It was tricky and fiddly and I went through a few different option until I finally settled on what to do. I created all the separate components and oxidised them to turn the silver black. The surfaces were then polished back slightly leaving the patina in the shallows. The cufflink were positioned and anchored into place and I then made a set of earwires to finish the pieces off.
Please watch the slideshow below to see the earrings from start to finish...