Apologies for the overdue update, but since starting my new project, I have been very busy and have only recently made some progress that could be blogged about.
For this project I have decided to develop my designs from the last project but explore the potential of 3D Printing and new technologies in jewellery making and design. The intention is to find a balance between these new processes and the traditional ones to create an aesthetic balance in different jewellery forms. Initially, my practice was quite slow as I have to source technology available to experiment with 3D printing. At one point I thought I was going to have to send all my files to ‘Shapeways’- A company in Eindhoven and New York, which would be reasonably cheap but take three weeks!
Fortunately, with the help of Loughborough Technicians in 3D Design and the Wolfson School of Mechanical engineering: I was able to find facilities available for third and fourth year students. This organisation is actually responsible for the research and printing of Richard III’s skeleton. More information can be found at their site: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/amrg/#tab1
Since finding a suitable printer and learning the CAD programme Maya, I have started to experiment with 3D jewellery forms to gain a better understanding of the material I am using and its abilities. The bottom picture is the most recent print and has been truly successful: the plastic is very strong but also flexible and can be pulled and stretched to fit a wearers wrist or finger, in addition, the level of detail is very impressive.
Not only have I been printing but I have continued my traditional technical research in jewellery. Last week I set my first stone: a garnet with a bezel setting and designed my own basic claw setting for pate de Verre glass around hand forged and cast wire. Both these small projects have allowed me to gain a greater understanding of jewellery making and taught me some useful techniques.
I have two weeks left until Easter and within those weeks I hope to develop these processes further and start to combine them in final prototype designs.