When we introduce our brummel bracelets to new customers the first question we usually receive is, "how do I get this thing on?" (see our How-to-Wear Tutorials Page). The second question we get is, "how is this made?".
Our brummels are crafted through a multi-step process called lost-wax casting. Essentially, the lost-wax process creates a sculpture from an original form. This method is used to achieve castings that have intricate and organic shapes.
Let us walk you through the process:
First, we create CAD drawings, 3D computer-rendered drawings, of our brummels.
We cannot cast the brummel as one piece so we separate it into two components, the cap and the clasp. The two different drawings are "models."
The 3D models are sent to a machine that casts the models into individual wax pieces. Each piece has a stem on it allowing it to be soldered to a casting tree.
This casting tree is made by hand and can only be used once.
Why? It's used to create a mold. The tree is dipped into a solution that bonds around it, getting in all the nooks and crannies. There is no way to remove the wax tree from the inside so that it remains in one piece. Instead, the mold is turned upside down, heated, and the molten wax drips out.
Next, extremely hot liquid brass is very carefully poured into the mold. It is left to set and cool down.
In order to get the brass tree out of the mold, the mold is broken around it and discarded.
Look at all those brummel bits! Each one is clipped off of the tree.
Although the stem attaching the brummel bits to the tree is clipped as close to the surface of the brummel clasp and cap as possible, it leaves a stump that needs to be sanded away.
At this point, we introduce another jewelry process called soldering to secure the end caps to the brummel clasp.
The final step before quality control is finishing. The brummels are added to a colander of stones or synthetic beads that move in a clockwise motion and use friction to bring the surface of the hardware to the desired finish. Which do you prefer: polished or matte?
In conclusion, it's dang right tedious to make one of our little brummels. But, when you look down at your wrist and are immediately transported back to that epic fishing trip or that amazing sunset sail, it's absolutely worth it its weight in brass.