Craftsmanship

Individually made by hand in Britain with the finest precious materials


Each piece is painstakingly produced utilising a combination of traditional techniques, usually reserved for the creation of high-end fine jewellery and cutting edge technological processes, employed in the fabrication of precision instruments. This careful blending of methodologies enables the creation of forms in precious metals which are innovative, yet of the uppermost quality.

 
Crafts & Technology
Precious Materials
Lost Wax Casting Gold - Au
Goldsmithing Silver – Ag
Diamond Machining Rhodium - Rh
Precious Stone Setting Platinum - Pt
Computer Aided Design Precious Stones
Rapid Prototyping  
Hallmarking  
Nib Making  
Lost Wax Casting



This ancient yet precise process has been utilised by goldsmiths of the world’s most ancient civilisations. Examples of artefacts unearthed in Tutankhamen’s burial chamber were crafted using this technique, as well as sacrificial goblets created in Shang Dynasty China, around 2000BC.

The original method involved the sculpting of intricate designs in bees’ wax, which was then encased in a layer of soft clay. Once solidified, the wax was melted or ‘burned out’, producing a cavity of the original form within the clay. Molten gold could then be poured into the hollow, creating a precious metal reproduction of the original wax pattern.

This process was all but forgotten by the 1940’s, until it was granted resurgence due to the occurrence of the Second World War. Demand for the production of precision parts, in specialised alloys, rapidly developed the ancient art-form into a modern technology. After the war, the revived technique was embraced by many industries including dental, aerospace and jewellery manufacture.

The intricate forms crafted for Jack Row’s exclusive writing instruments make use of sophisticated waxes, photosensitive resins, specialist investment powders and advanced casting processes.
 
Goldsmithing



The profession of Goldsmithing is one of the oldest and culturally important in human history. Covering art, craft and design disciplines, the modern goldsmith is not merely a maker of body adornment or 'jewellery'.

Despite the technological improvements in lost wax casting, each precious metal component must still be painstakingly enhanced by hand, by an experienced goldsmith. Little has changed for millennia; the craftsperson will still work by hand using precision tools including needle files, burnishers, gravers, fine bladed piercing saws and various grades of abrasive paper to remove imperfections in the cast or milled silver, gold or platinum.

Once each piece has been laboriously prepared, they are polished by hand, using a series of fine cotton wheels and abrasive compounds or pastes, until the desired finish is achieved. The process of hand finishing also means that every piece has its own small idiosyncrasies, making no two pieces completely indistinguishable.


Diamond Machining



The inner barrel and cap of each writing instrument is individually engineered from custom made, solid Stirling Silver bullion by means of precision machining with specialist, diamond-edged tools.

This fabrication method allows for the construction of a custom-made inner pen, entirely in precious metal, rather than customizing a mass produced resin or plastic barrel and adding an overlaid embellishment.

The fabrication of a bespoke barrel adds additional exclusively to Jack Row's writing instruments. The client is safe in the knowledge that his or her purchase is completely unique and not to be found in another luxury fountain pen, anywhere in the world.

Moreover, by utilizing only solid bullion, each writing instrument has a weight and balance that feels every bit as luxurious as it looks.

Jack works closely with the British craftspeople at Ashfield Dean Ltd, who machine the top quality inner barrels from Jack’s specifications and technical drawings. Headed by world renowned designer/goldsmith, Robert Glover (M.A. RCA), the company produces exclusive, specialist pieces to the highest standard and have crafted some of the world’s most iconic awards and treasures of modern times.
www.ashfielddean.co.uk


Precious Stone Setting



Each gemstone in Jack's writing instruments and accessories is individually set into precious metal by a master stone-setter, using only time-honoured craftsmanship, the strength in his hands and few traditional tools. The location and arrangement of each stone is carefully laid out by hand, onto a blank section, before being set. Each stone is then encased by the skilled manipulation of the surrounding precious metal.

As with all experts involved with the bespoke creation of Jack’s pieces, his specialist setters are skilled British craftspersons, working in the UK.


Computer Aided Design

To some, computer aided design is not considered an acceptable form of craftsmanship. However, to the skilled designer with an open mind, it is simply another tool to be learned, mastered and utilised. It is in no way a replacement for traditional methodology, rather an addition to it.

Euclid of Alexandria’s geometric discussion "Elements", originating in around 350BC, is the basis of the mathematical system (Euclidian Geometry) upon which today's CAD systems operate. With the advent of the electronic computer, the first CAD systems were developed for the Aerospace industry, in the early 1960s. Since then, numerous specialist applications have been created for a wide range of uses, most notably engineering, architectural and industrial design. It is only in the past 10 years or so that the technology has begun to be utilised by the jewellery and allied industries.

Jack utilises a range of software to plan and develop chosen elements of his designs. Aspects are painstakingly modelled in virtual 3D in order to explore and develop their form, from every perceivable view. With intelligent combination with Goldsmithing skills and manufacturing experience, the utilisation of CAD enables the generation of intricate forms, unachievable by the use of traditional methods alone.



Rapid Prototyping



Rapid Prototyping is defined as ‘the automatic construction of physical objects using additive manufacturing technology’. This essentially translates to the building of complete 3D forms by way of depositing fine layers of material, one on top of the other, which bind together to form a complex laminate.

This technology was first available to designers in the early 1980s and was used to produce prototype parts and scale models. The technology is now used for a broader range of specific applications, specifically the production of quality parts in low volumes.

Utilising Stereolithography RP technology, which uses sophisticated photopolymer (ultraviolet light reactive) material, Jack develops his designs carefully to ultimately provide accurate, bespoke models with which to instigate the lost wax casting process.


Hallmarking



Hallmarking is regarded as one of the oldest forms of consumer protection, being instituted in 1300. Its aim is to assure the consumer of the quality, value and individuality of their investment in precious metal. Renowned around the world, a British Hallmark is a reassuring mark of excellence.

The individual marks struck are; Jack Row's individual maker's mark, the international convention mark, the type and purity of the metal in parts per thousand, the assayer's mark and the date of assay symbol.


Nib Making



The nib and feeder system of Jack Row's writing instruments are made-to-order by one of the world’s oldest and renowned family businesses, based in Heidelberg, Germany. Stamped from solid 18ct gold sheet and tipped with iridium to provide a fine and durable writing point, the nibs are hand assembled and polished by skilled technicians. The designer's logo is then expertly engraved onto the front face of the nib, using innovative laser etching technology.

Ink is delivered through an ebonite feeder by way of cartridge or converter, enabling constant and smooth ink-flow.


Gold - Au



The Latin word for gold is ‘aurum’, which translates to ‘brilliant aura’. This evokes the beliefs of ancient civilisations who thought it belonged to the sun and had mysterious qualities. Pharaohs were buried with their gold to ensure safe passage to the afterlife. In the Middle Ages, Alchemists hypothesized means of transforming base substances into gold such was its desire. Wars have been waged, empires built and mass migrations undertaken in its pursuit.

In its purest form, gold is too soft to be manipulated and used as a suitable material for the construction of detailed and durable objects. Other elements must be added or alloyed with it, to produce a metal that is hard yet malleable. The variation in type and quantity of the added materials also has an effect on the value and colour of the particular alloy. The most common colours are:- yellow gold (which represents gold’s natural colour), white (usually having silver or palladium added) and rose gold (containing more copper to give a pink/red hue).

The purity of the gold or ‘carat’ can be represented by the parts per thousand of pure gold, present in the alloy. At present, Jack utilises 9ct gold (370/1000) and 18ct gold (750/1000) in both yellow and white variations.


Silver – Ag



Silver is the whitest of precious metals and has been utilised as currency and an ideal material for the fabrication of tableware, religious artefacts and jewellery since around 700BC. Interestingly, silver bullion stocks make up a major component of silver supply in the world today.

Like gold, silver is very soft in its pure state and must have other elements, usually copper, added to it to produce a suitable alloy. Sterling silver or 925 silver is regarded as the finest alloy for the creation of jewellery and other luxury goods, being 92.5% pure.

Due to the copper content needed to make the metal malleable, silver will subsequently oxidise over time and must be plated, usually with rhodium or gold, to prevent this chemical reaction. All sterling silver components of Jack's writing instruments and accessories are plated in this manner to prolong their appearance and durability.


Rhodium - Rh



This metal is a part of the platinum group of metals and is approximately ten times more expensive than gold. Utilised for its durability and brilliant white colour, rhodium is usually applied to the surface of silver and white gold, by means of electro-plating. Most silver and 18ct white gold present in Jack products are protected and enhanced by this method.


Platinum - Pt



Platinum is one of the rarest and most expensive precious metals. To produce a single gram of platinum, over four hundred kilos must be mined and refined over a period of eight weeks. Valued for it hardness, silvery-grey colour and resistance to wear, it is often the choice for high end, contemporary bridal jewellery. Its high value is heavily influenced by its chief employment as a catalyst in chemical reactions, prominently by the automotive and aerospace industries.


Precious Stones



Accentuating and adding detail to each pieces’ form, precious stones are carefully chosen for their durability, rarity and most importantly, quality. At present, diamonds and sapphires are intelligently utilised in Jack’s work, sourced from a range of independent dealers.

White diamonds conform to a minimum G-VS1 quality standard, as used in fine jewellery, being of excellent cut, clarity and colour.
Blue sapphires are of a ‘top blue’ quality, chosen for their deep cornflower-blue hue and excellent clarity.

Where coloured diamonds are used, these generally are enhanced with irradiation to achieve a consistence of distinctive colour.

 

 

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