This week sees one of the highlights of the Summer sporting calendar – Royal Ascot. Off the back of what has been a very busy 2 months for the Queen – a Royal Baby, a Royal Wedding and Trooping the Colour – she will be heading down the racecourse at Ascot in a procession of horses and carriages which is a timeless British tradition that dates back over 300 hundred years. Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and this meeting became officially known as Royal Ascot during the Edwardian period; a romantic golden age of long summer afternoons and garden parties.
The Queen has been present at Royal Ascot for the last 64 years and the last time she missed one of her favourite Summer events was in Coronation Year, 1953! We here at the Richmond Kettle Company think that was one clash of Royal dates that couldn’t be avoided. The Royal Family’s love of horses is so great that they have their own racehorses, trainers and jockeys. The Queen is the owner and breeder of many thoroughbred a number of which have won at Royal Ascot, the last time being Estimate’s Gold Cup victory in 2013.
This most popular of horse racing meetings is also full of fashion as designers of the latest Summer wear get high exposure as the great and the good parade around the grandstands and lawns showing off all kinds of beautiful dresses, hats and shoes. There will also be top hats, tails and, no doubt, plenty of afternoon tea on the Ascot lawns that are so exquisitely mown. The meeting lasts from Tuesday through to Saturday with members of the Royal Family in attendance throughout as well as those who love to wear Great British fashion.
We are very excited to launch our new Induction Hob Copper kettle’s to the Richmond range.
The first to be launched is the Richmond No. 8 Beehive kettle suitable for gas and electric stoves. Hand-crafted and meticulously designed to display a beautiful finish, this kettle is the ideal addition to any kitchen. The whistle song and high gloss finish provide a magnificent accessory for any gas or electric stove top. Take pleasure in the small things in life and take time to make tea right.
The Richmond Kettle Company team will also be attending the prestigious Frankfurt trade fair Ambiente – the must-visit fair to view some of the worlds most unique, and beautiful consumer goods. Be sure to visit us, and view our wonderful range of Edwardian style kettles on 9 – 13 February 2018, on stand A21 in hall 3.
Copper is the key ingredient to our kettles. It’s soft and highly conductive properties make it perfect for spinning and perfect for use as a stove top kettle because it heats up very quickly. Historically, our organic copper was mined in the United Kingdom, from Cornwall, Cheshire and Scotland. Copper had been mined in the UK since the roman times and had vast uses from cookware to coins, but in more recent decades unfortunately supply has not met demand. Our copper is UK sourced but imported from Germany. We believe that aesthetically, copper is magnificent material and you can learn more about copper here.
From copper sheets, our craftsmen cut, stamp, form, punch and press the parts. These parts are then placed on hotplates and the hand-tinning process can commence. A flux is added to the surface before liquid tin is brushed on. During this process, the tin binds with the surface of the copper creating an integral surface for the inside of the kettle. The tinning process is fundamental for two key reasons: firstly, untreated copper will oxidise quickly in contact with water; secondly (and worse of all), the taste of your perfectly brewed cup of tea may be jeopardised!
Once the pieces of our copper jigsaw puzzle have been tinned, the craftsmen can begin the spinning process. Spinning is the process of manipulating metal using a lathe and different levered tools. Unlike wood turning, no material is removed in the spinning of metal. As the copper discs spin, they can be manipulated into shape by using the lever tools against a chuck. It is common for spinning in today’s age to be completed by CNC machinery but the organic properties of copper (being soft and having weak spots) can make it difficult to complete using CNC machines. The best results for spinning copper come from the hand spinning process where the craftsman can feel the inconsistencies and work his techniques personally to each individual piece.
Following the spinning of the parts, there are a series of pressing, crimping, cutting and soldering processes to take place before our kettles begin to resemble kettles. We use pure grade silver solder for our kettles to ensure they stand the test of time. The kettle parts must be heated in excess of 400 C allow the molten silver to create a seal. Throughout these stages, the kettles undergo three sets of integrity trials in the various parts before being hand polished using a polishing wheel.
Most of the kettle parts are now ready for assembly. For our chrome models, we have to send the parts out to be chrome plated first (that is a whole other story for another day), but then assembly can begin. During the assembly process, a further two integrity trials are completed as well as two more cleaning and polishing processes. All of these processes are completed by hand. In total there are over 80 processes involved to make the kettles from over 20 different parts.