Showing posts from January, 2015

Electrum Wedding Rings

I was asked by some friends recently if I could make them some wedding rings from electrum. Electrum is an alloy of gold and silver, and it's incredibly pretty. But it's kind of hard to work - the standard way of making a ring, by folding a piece of sheet or wire and soldering it closed doesn't work. While electrum is very hard, it has a relatively low melting point, so you can't use normal silver solder on it (also, silver or gold solder would show up as a visible join). I have fused a few rings from sheet electrum, but it's very hard to get a clean join - the ring ended up slightly asymmetric , which isn't always a problem but for wedding rings it didn't seem right. So, time to learn how to cast metal. I bought a Delft Clay Casting kit and got to practising. After a few goes I dived right on in to making the rings. It's a fairly simple process but an interesting one. First up, making a wooden former which is slightly smaller on the inside and sli

A Post About Post (and Packaging)

It is perhaps hard to think of anything more dull than packaging, but there you go. I do think packaging is important, because it's the first physical contact I have with my customers, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. For a long time I used heavyweight brown paper padded bags to send stuff out in, but Jiffy recently discontinued these, and the replacements are a weird 'gold' colour rather than a nice traditional brown. On top of that, one downside to standard padded envelopes is that they're difficult to recycle - the plastic bubbly bit has to be separated from the paper, which not all recycling centres are set up to handle. So I wondered, if I can't have lovely heavy brown paper, could I perhaps find something a bit more planet-friendly? Turns out the answer was yes. At the same time, I managed to streamline my packing process, and save a bit of paper too. My original system involved printing out two sheets - one with the address on,