At the recent prize-giving for the 2003 Craftsmanship and Design Awards (3 March 2003), an annual event of the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council, a laser welded 18ct. gold bracelet commissioned by Rofin-Baasel UK won a Gold award in the Technological Innovation-3D category.
The bracelet, designed and made by David Poston, and owned by Rofin-Baasel UK, is an impressive combination of design and technology achieving a large physical size with a very low weight.
Constructed from thin sheets of 18ct. gold, which are laser welded together, the piece has a striking and contemporary appearance.
David Poston also picked up a Silver award for Fine Jewellery Finished Pieces with the same bracelet. David Poston is head of Silversmithing and Jewellery at Loughborough University School of Art and Design (LUSAD).
The laser is powered from a regular 240V, 50Hz, 13A socket and is a full turnkey system which requires no other services.
Components are held by hand and positioned under the laser using a high magnification stereo microscope for alignment. The laser beam is fired by the operator using a footswitch.
This technology can be applied in gold, platinum, silver, titanium, or many other less exotic metals for joining with or without a filler wire of the same material as the parent metal.