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Christmas, Royal Engagements, Reviews and New Kettles!

With Christmas fast approaching, the long nights and chilly days we are cheered and delighted to have received a wonderful review of our kettles by ‘The Proper Bostonian’.

We have worked extremely hard here at Richmond over the past 10 months to ensure we are offering the very best, solid copper, handmade, seam-free kettle available.

The review was welcomed and makes all the tweaks, changes and hard work worthwhile. It also means we have accomplished our goal.

An exert from the article is shown below as a comprehensive, unbiased review may help with your decision making:

In a nutshell:

I think the Richmond is a terrific kettle, and I recommend it. It has features that I feel improve upon the Simplex’s design. According to the manufacturer, in England, Richmond kettles have been evolving and improving with small but telling tweaks made over the past year. Judging from my most recent kettle, I’d say they’ve definitely got it right. Their chrome kettle is louder, sturdier, and has a more elegant, Edwardian-style look than my original 2007 Simplex.

Read the full review, especially if you are undecided about which make kettle to buy.

The other good news is, of course, the Royal Engagement of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In celebration of this we have produced 100 limited Edition, Silver plated over solid copper kettles, and they are just beautiful! I know this as I have the prototype here on my desk.

Other exciting news here is that I also have prototypes for 3 additional models to add to our range. The first is the new ‘Beehive’. This will be available in copper or chrome for both electric and gas stoves.

Next is the Induction Kettle – in copper only.

Lastly, the ‘Dome’ kettle This is also available in copper or chrome for both electric and gas stoves.

All 5 of our main kettles, No’s 1/2/3/4 and the Jubilee are all in stock, ready to despatch in time for Christmas. For those of you holding your breath for the ‘Care Kits’ … we are nearly there, it is simply a shipping issue that should be cleared up very soon.

We also have a fabulous Richmond Tea Towel in wonderful quality cotton due in stock any day, pictures will be on our website and Facebook page soon.

Finally, Richmond would like to wish each and every one of you, our wonderful readers the very best of Seasons Greetings and we look forward to sharing with you again in 2018!

How Do We Make A Richmond Kettle?

The art of metal spinning has been passed down through generations and it truly is a dying art. The artisan techniques have gone unchanged for over 100 years. After the establishment of the innovative Edwardian kettle design, barely anything had changed except the hands of the craftsmen.

 

Why Copper?
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.

 

Hand Tinning
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!

 

Spinning
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.

 

Soldering & Polishing
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.

 

Final Assembly
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.