Kiwi en France

We design and cast traditional pewter jewellery, gifts and promotional products which, from inception to packaging, are created in France using local raw materials.

We started as William Sturt Fine Pewte 20 years ago and 20,000 kilometres away in Christchurch, New Zealand. We had a garage full of melting pots and one toddler. The epicenter of the 7.2 Canterbury earthquake was just down the road from us, and 12,000 quakes later, we decided we were tired of jumping at every rumbling lorry, so we packed up our workshop and came over to France.

We use only fine pewter which consists of a precise blend of tin, copper and antinomy; and never any lead. Once a design has been drawn, we mill it in especially hardened wax. Next layers of silicon are built up around the wax model and heated in a vulcaniser which also crushes the silicon to form a round mould. The wax is destroyed in this process, but a perfect space is left in its place. Once the silicon cools, tiny air vents are cut into it to ensure the molten pewter will flow correctly, this is a tricky job to get right, but it makes all the difference.

Pewter is then heated to 260°C and carefully(!) ladled into the newly formed mould, which is now in one of our spin casters and spinning at eight hundred rpm. After a few seconds of pouring, the mould is filled and the machine stops turning. The mould is turned out and the scalding hot pewter items left on a bench to cool.

Once cool, the pewter is hand linished to tidy up any rough spots and then polished either by hand or in a machine or both.

Eh voila!