The story behind my 3D Printed – Gothic Cube Collection
With the advances in new technology, I never want to be left behind with my practice so I decided to experiment with 3D Printing to create my new collection of jewellery. However as handmade skills are extremely important in my practice, I also didn’t want these skills to be lost in the making of the new collection. This is why I have incorporated 3D printing technology with handmade skills to produce my new Gothic Cube Collection.
I have designed this collection using the Cloud 9 design programme, which was created by Anarkik3D. The programme is really fun to use as you can design serendipitous shapes with a haptic mouse. The haptic mouse is sensory so you can feel a sensation when you touch the object with the curser, so it allows you to feel like you are sculpting and moulding the shapes on the screen in front of you.
I use the programme to create shapes that I wouldn’t be able to make by hand (or at least they would be extremely difficult, time consuming and costly to make!) Then I get these shapes 3D printed in a hard wearing, but lightweight, plastic/nylon material called Polyamide. I currently don’t have a 3d printer of my own but I send my files to companies who have high spec printers, such as Shapeways, Sculpteo and imaterialise.
Getting my designs printed in this new material, was quite a challenge to begin with as I was always used to working in metal and could get a really high quality finish as well as making the objects the right size. It took me a while to get to grips with a new way of designing with a computer instead of designing in my head or on paper. Then I had to work out how to achieve a finish that I was happy with in the polyamide.
One major benefit of the lightweight, but hard wearing material (polyamide) is that it allows me to produce really chunky, statement pieces, without them totally wearing you down. I love to wear chunky pieces but as I got diagnosed with an underactive thyroid about 3 years ago, I have a weak/sensitive neck and can’t wear heavy neckpieces anymore. So I decided to experiment with making large statement pieces that aren’t heavy to wear. The solution is my 3D printed collection.
Each piece is solid and looks like chunky metal, but each of the coloured shapes are made in Polyamide, so they are durable and light to wear. As this collection is so different from my other jewellery collections, I still wanted to incorporate silver and stones to add a little luxury and sparkle to the pieces.
So I started to experiment with ways of incorporating silver elements and stone settings to the Polyamide. You can see this in the examples above.
I am still at the early stages of developing this collection and I would love to be able to produce really large 3d printed, sculptural pieces for the catwalk, theatre or the movie screen. I am also interested in experimenting with dying the polyamide different colours so that I can play about with different colour ranges. So watch this space to see how the collection develops.
Take a look at my full collection on my online jewellery shop here.