Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’
Recently, I got an assignment to create custom work for two music teachers. Personalized and reasonably priced were the only guidelines. Otherwise I was given free rein and let my creativity go wild. Well, not that wild, but I had fun. The obvious choice for custom personalized jewelry was to create 3D models and then get them 3D printed.
In the picture above, you can the see cufflinks for a piano teacher with initials TH. Each letter is surrounded by two octaves of miniature piano keys. The material is silver plated polished brass.
The other piece was a pendant for a viola teacher. It had to be delivered as soon as I got it from the service bureau, so the picture below is a rendering. On the note lines you can see the alto clef which is also called viola clef because it's often used with viola music. Also the notes, D and G, represent her initials. This pendant was made with 18K plated polished brass.
This is the first post in the upcoming sporadic series of DESIGN LAB. I will experiment with new manufacturing methods and techniques. Results and pictures, good or bad, will be posted here. Some of these sketches may eventually find themselves in production and the web store, but mostly I’m just playing around.
For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to try laser cutting. Though the laser cutter is pretty old technology, the price point is still very high. It is not in my radar to purchase my own machine quite yet. So, I turned to a service bureau; Ponoko.
Ponoko carries a vast catalogue of materials from leather and wool felt to acrylics and plywood. The prices for materials are reasonable, but price for an individual design may hike up fast, if the design is complicated and specifically if it includes lots of engraved details. This makes balancing between designer’s and consumer’s happiness tricky. Seemingly simple designs may end up carrying a hefty price tag.
This time, I chose to work with white melamine MDF, Cherry Veneer MDF and natural cardboard.
Cherry veneer has a nice sheen and works quite nicely for jewelry. Here, I made a simple pendant by utilizing a ready made silver setting and designing a piece to fit in. The lesson here; Fonts need to be bold. Otherwise, the result is too subtle with the natural wood grain. The “CHILL” text on the bracelet below is barely visible.
I was particularly excited with trying the “live hinge” method. Stiff material, such as wood, can be made flexible by cutting a pattern of vertical lines. Each thin part will give in a little, just enough to for a nice bend. However, for jewelry purposes and heavy usage items, this is just too brittle. It might be possible to use some kind of enforcement. For the bracelet below, I used duck tape :). For this to work, it needs more R&D.
Laser cutting is essentially flat design. With some construction, one is able to expand it to 3d. Here is a simple egg pendant which can be shipped flat and assembled when received.
The white melamine picks up detail really well. Even the thinnest lines will read clearly. Also, the material tolerates high heat pretty well. Therefor, it was my material of choice for this trivet.
One last material I wanted to experiment with was cardboard. These earring display cards will easily fold flat for gift boxes.
Oh, and a word of warning: All natural fibers and organic materials such as wood, leather or felt will be smelling like smoke. Laser cuts by burning. Eventually, the smell fades, though.
Thanksgiving and the recent uncovering of a bird’s nest in my garden made me think of a talisman I made almost 10 years ago. Talismans are objects which are believed to have magical powers. Unlike Amulets, which are for generic purpose, talismans bring good luck for a specific purpose. They also need to be charged with energy by a person who makes them.
Mine was a bird's nest made out of fine silver. I rolled each little twig out of precious metal clay and little by little formed a nest. It was then sintered in kiln which burned off the binding materials and after polishing, a tiny brilliant nest emerged. For eggs, I added two shiny oval shaped freshwater pearls. It could have been used as a pendant, but I just wanted to look and hold it.
At the time, we had already had several painful years of trying to get pregnant. It was probably on an unconscious level, that I made this symbolic nest in lieu of building a nest for a human baby. In any case, my thoughts were mostly (as they had been for ages) focused on the void in our lives. When I was concentrating on rolling out those tiny twigs, I was charging each one of them with lots of hope. As it often happens, once you direct your energy somewhere else, the unimaginable happens. I got pregnant with our gorgeous son.
I got pre-occupied with my rounding belly and the hectic life in Manhattan. The little talisman was forgotten for years until we moved to suburbs and I learned that a dear friend of mine was struggling with the same issues I had. The cynic in me says it was our persistence, modern medicine and our skilled reproductive endocrinologist that deserve all the credit for the success. However, I would like to live in a world where it’s ok to believe in magic, at least a little bit. So, I handed the bird's nest to my friend in a little box and told her the story about making it. Her son was born less than a year after that.
We decided that it would be great to create a pay-it-forward talisman. So, she gave the nest to her friend S who gave it to her friend K. So, far we have four silver nest babies, all boys by the way.
Oh, and what happened to the talisman next? S has it back on her bed side radiating hope, happy thoughts and energy for number two.
Design Jewelry and Accessories is a brand new digital magazine that presents new jewelry trends and unique designs, as well as beautiful handmade jewelry and accessories. Annamari Mikkola Creative was covered extensively at its "Art Special" section of the November 2012 issue.
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