A high polish finish and refined shape defines the Nanotechnology collection, from the sleek surface of the James lapel pin to the intricate design of the Edgar cufflinks, and this look is achieved through the process of electroplating, commonly used in nanotechnology. Electroplating is a routine process in many industries, including aerospace, defence, and electronics, and it involves coating a metal object with a thin layer of a different metal through electrolysis. This prevents corrosion and extends the life of the metal, as well as improving the aesthetic.
The company behind the Nanotechnology collection is Letchworth Plating Company, who work with a number of different materials for a variety of industries. Two of LPC’s high profile projects are Durham Cathedral and Bahrain Airport. For Durham Cathedral, LPC produced stainless steel plated components that have an antique bronze finish, to blend into the look of the rest of the Norman architecture. In Bahrain Airport, LPC used brushed nickel, which is hard-wearing and resists corrosion.
Electroplating is both decorative and functional. For example, gold, silver and rhodium are all used to plate jewellery, while chromium is used on light fixtures. In the automotive industry, electroplating is used to refurbish chrome parts, including grills and bumpers and rhodium is also used in catalytic converters. Electroplating is also used in computer parts, and electronic components, but the most common use is the creation of coins, particularly pennies, which are zinc covered in a layer of copper.
Working with such intricate objects and adhering to a level of absolute precision, while still producing beautiful, polished products, is what inspired Alice Made This’ Nanotechnology collection. The combination of science and elegance, represented in the reflective surfaces of the pieces, are what makes this collection of cufflinks, lapel pins and shirt studs unique.