This collection, ‘The Forgotten Treasures of the Infamous Aguila Dorada’, to give it its full name, grew from the idea of a sea-faring adventurer. A man who has spine-chilling stories to tell and dark secrets to keep. I imagined a face, lined and weathered, with each line telling a tale of adventures past. A character who is untameable, un-placeable – wild, wise and ultimately seductive.
A large part of my research and development was spent reading about the pirates of old, looking at ships and galleons, and hours spent in the British Museum looking at old treasure hoards. I became fascinated with the ropes and knots used on board ships. They seemed to me to have beautiful sculptural qualities in their many varying forms.
I started to develop experiments with knotting rope of my own, as well as carving rope-like sculptural pieces by hand.
When thinking about cufflinks suitable for my piratical character I liked the idea that the shirt cuffs would quite literally be ‘knotted’ together. A play on the classic knot cufflinks seen in so many guises over the years – I decided that my knotted cufflinks would be very literally made of rope.
The original form of these was therefore created by casting from a mould I made of a real knotted piece of ships rope. I then worked into this in metal to create the sculptural form I wanted for the cufflinks to function and look beautiful.
The original detailing of the rope I kept in the final edition, so that once in the shirt, these would really feel as if the cuffs were held together by a piece of knotted gold rope, albeit a very luxurious one.