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Cufflinks and Pocket Squares: Designing/Manufacturing One's Own?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've artistic tendencies and think I could do at least as well as some of the things I've spotted - and couldn't quite afford.

Now, I know there are various websites where you can submit and have produced your own designs for signet rings, belt buckles, monograms, etc. -- do you know whether there's anything like that out there for pocket squares and cufflinks?


Or, alternatively, have you any idea of what would be involved in whatever DIY-type solution would produce the highest-quality result?

In either circumstance, it doesn't seem like it would be all that difficult, provided that you didn't mind printed silk for the pocket square and that your cufflinks were relatively straightforward all-metal or enamel.

Thanks very much.
post #2 of 13
look at pocketsquared.com

It is run by Kent Wang, a member here. People seem to be very happy with his products, he can tell you about production, sourcing and all that other stuff but then he would be helping a future competitor so not sure that he would want to do that, I know I would not.
post #3 of 13
I took 2 years of jewelry in high school and have been thinking about trying to get back into it.

I was thinking about maybe starting to do some cufflinks and selling them here/using them as gifts (in high school girls always loved hand made custom jewerly, why wouldn't french-cuffed men feel the same...). It shouldn't be so hard to get back into doing basic work in silver; I still have the hand tools somewhere though I would probably need to acquire a small torch for soldering and something for buffing (a dremel with small polishing wheel may be the cheapest starting out route). I probably won't ever get to do wax castings again unless I sign up at a community college or find somewhere else with equipment but cufflinks from stock metal would be doable.

I have also wanted to buy some silk cord/thread and try making some knotted cufflinks as I have always liked knots...maybe I could come up with something cool.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherAnOddball View Post
I've artistic tendencies and think I could do at least as well as some of the things I've spotted - and couldn't quite afford.


IMO it is only interesting if a product is not available (to reproduce it). But it will cost problably more than retail.

If the originals are too expensive buy the chinese products.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies!

For the cufflinks, what I'd really like to make for myself are either stamped coins with designs of my own on them, or enamel in silver or gold backing, upon which I've painted, sealed with a bit of glass.

Golf, I wasn't intending to say that I want to copy what I've seen. What I meant was that I think I'm capable of equalling what I have seen, in its more abstract qualities of "appeal" and "style."
post #6 of 13
AAAC has a 'guide' on making PS's. But it really just entails roling corners on a square and hand sewing.
post #7 of 13
There's a product called PMC+. It's a malleable clay made of silver and a binder plus some water. When fired the rest burns away leaving the metal. It's possible to do some nice jewelry with it from what I understand and it sounds like an easy way to do cufflinks. All you'd have to do is silver solder your findings on the back of your design after it was fired and finished. The material is expensive though and requires some sort of kiln that can reach 1900F. Here is an example of a piece made with PMC.



These were left pretty much unfinished as it is possible to burnish and polish to a mirror shine.

It's also possible to enamel it though I understand it's easier to get your colors with resin enameling than it is with glass as glass (or rather the minerals in the colored glass that give it it's color like iron) will discolor when it reacts with the silver giving muted or browning tones.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lombardi's Ghost View Post
It's also possible to enamel it though I understand it's easier to get your colors with resin enameling than it is with glass as glass (or rather the minerals in the colored glass that give it it's color like iron) will discolor when it reacts with the silver giving muted or browning tones.
I've worked with a product that lets you make a colorful, durable resins. Mix the colors with something else (probably a hardener...this was a few years ago) and you can then fill spaces with it (I think it comes with a few syringes but you can put it in place other ways). Bakes at a low temp to harden, I was able to do it with a luxo lamp set down against a block of wood. It should harden to a nice gloss (since it is a liquid) but if it needs to be shaped, it sands and buffs quite easily. You can make borders out of metal, soldered down to a plate or if you are looking for piece of just resin, I was able to make borders on paper out of jewelers brown wax (it must have a high enough melting temp that you can bake it without melting the wax). Dont remember the name of the product but it should be available in the Rio Grande catalog
post #9 of 13
Rather An Oddball, Sounds like a fun project. Have you seen this thread? It will give you an idea along with the tutorial that we have made. http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...ighlight=hober Once you have perfected your sewing skills you can silk screen any design that you like and you will have your unique pocket squares. If you do not know how to do silk screening you can find a local artist to do it for you. As for others doing it for you it is certainly possible but for small amounts not cost effective. We source fabric by having it woven for us directly at the mill or weaving the silk ourselves. You can always visit fabric stores in New York or shop online. Good luck and post photos of your creations.
post #10 of 13
I would bet you could find some interesting remnants for pocket squares if you found a source of botched silk screen jobs. You only need a smallish squre and most of the large format printing mistakes I can think of would end up on edges leaving you enough fabric to make it with. Schools with art programs are probably a GREAT place to find screwed up prints. I'm thinking about ordering some findings and trying to make a few sets of cufflinks...I'll certainly post pictures
post #11 of 13
Given some of the really interesting stuff out there in terms of design be it graphic art, achitecture, industrial design and etc, I think there is real scope for coming up with some really interesting Cufflink designs. I personally believe Cufflinks as a design medium has been so underplayed. Most of the stuff you see is 'colorfull rabble' or 'thematic kitsch' designed not for design sake or given any design thought, but rather because they need something for the chinese factories to mass produce so they can then pass out to stores. Having said that even the quality made stuff out of Germany is generally boring.

Paul Smith IMHO has some nice designs. Some of it is relatively daring and I would say a good start in terms of the type of thought that should be given in cufflink design.

I also had a look at another high luxury brand that makes nice cufflinks however they focus more on different insets rather than the design. They have insets like ‘meteorite’, ‘stingray’, ‘eel’, and etc. I asked the sales guy whether they had ‘Elephant Scrotum’ as I really want to be different to which he just looked at me : P


Below are a pair I picked up recently. They are a cheap chinese make however what caught my eye was the inset pattern. Has elements of ‘Cubism’ which I like and why I got them. These would be so much better if they weren’t so cheaply made.



In terms of taking the next step and actually making them yourself I would not have a clue how its done........ I am just an 'ideas guy'.
post #12 of 13
Two words...

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherAnOddball View Post
Golf, I wasn't intending to say that I want to copy what I've seen. What I meant was that I think I'm capable of equalling what I have seen, in its more abstract qualities of "appeal" and "style."

So it is two of us!

I am thinking about it for about ten years, now. My biggest problem is without an invest (on time and about 2000 bucks), there will be no sucess ever getting something wearable.
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