This was a request from a customer for a pair of cufflinks with his family crest on them. I started with an image of the crest, and refined the artwork. (He only wanted the shield portion) I made a custom stamp which I then used to imprint bronze metal clay to create a bas-relief image of the design.
Subsequent photos show the cufflink blanks after being stamped and dried, then carefully shaped and sanded for a smooth finish.
Metal clay consists of micro particles of actual metal suspended in a malleable matrix. Once the item is formed, you fire it in a digital kiln at very high temperatures (1200-1700 F) with tightly controlled temperature ramping and hold times. During that firing, the clay matrix burns off and the metal particles fuse to become solid metal, in this case bronze. I also do a lot of work in fine silver clay.
You can see the charred looking blanks as they come out of the kiln. They are carefully polished, then solid bronze cufflink backs are soldered to them. I finish by adding patina and a final polish to highlight the contrast of the raised design.
In addition, I can make you a lovely key fob in solid bronze (65.00) or sterling silver (175.00)from the same stamp! https://www.custommade.com/solid-bronze-monogrammed-keychain-fob-with-solid-b/by/jennybuttons/
These would be a wonderful gift for your groom to be, a great solution to what to give your groomsmen, and an absolutely spectacular gift at a family reunion ( I could do a pendant for the women, if you wish, using the same stamp). You are also allowed to get a pair for yourself in order to have that pair of cufflinks you have always wanted and never found. ; )
The stamp making process requires black and white line art in order to create the stamp. Because of the nature of metal clay and the stamp making process, I probably won't be able to reproduce a highly detailed motif with hair thin lines all through it, or one with lots of shades of grey ...but there is a whole lot I CAN do. Contact me and I will be glad to take a look at your proposed design and see how we can make it work for a truly special and one of a kind item.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE INITIALS OR A DATE ON THE BACK, THAT IS AVAILABLE AS AN OPTION (20.00 ADDITIONAL). SEE LAST PHOTO.