We've been working on a large order this month for silver Ogham cufflinks. The design is based on our Ogham Grá cufflinks from our online shop but instead of the word 'grá' (meaning love in Irish) we're engraving the word Cork.
Like many of our designs I start with a flat sheet of silver and scribe my design into the metal. In this case we are using a nice thick sheet of silver as these cufflinks will need to be curved and shaped further. Then with my trusty red piercing frame I begin to cut out each disc. It's slow work but it's great to see perfectly round discs gather on your bench as you go.
Once I have all the discs cut out I can begin filing to remove the sharp edges left behind from the cutting. It makes it far easier to handle and work with the silver if I know I'm not at risk of getting a splinter!
Then it's over to the doming block where I carefully hammer the curve into the metal. The silver needs to be annealed and the doming needs to be done gently so I don't put extra strain on the silver.
At this stage they are ready to go for hallmarking. Every item we make needs to be sent to the Irish Assay Office in Dublin Castle to be tested and hallmarked. I first stamp them with my makers mark before sending them to Dublin to have the remaining punch added.
Once I get the discs back from hallmarking I can get to work on the soldering. These cufflinks are fitted with a silver spring bullet back fitting. This means that extra care needs to be taken when soldering to make sure you don't overheat the spring and render the mechanism useless.
Now that the cufflinks are all soldered and polished it's time to begin the engraving. Here is the inscription that will be engraved on the cufflinks. I'll get to work on that now and will post more photos soon of the finished product!
Interested in Ogham jewelry?, feel free to browse our collection.