A little while ago (August last year), after seeing Bin Dixon-Ward’s ‘Grids‘ exhibition at Craft, I wrote the following about three-dimensional printing:
“I am interested in how this technology will impact future creation of adornment – perhaps even self-service jewellery, where a ‘designer’ makes their original design available online and a person can purchase it to have it printed themselves in whatever colour and material they desire.”
With a little more knowledge, I’d amend that to “whatever colour they wished, or cast in the material they desire“.
My recent visit to Maureen Faye-Chauhan’s ‘Concurrence‘ exhibition at Gallery Funaki woke this question up again … as my favourite pieces in the show, the gold rings, were 3D-printed and then cast (available in limited editions).
If memory serves (and that’s quite a significant caveat lately), I think the first time I saw jewellery made with the assistance of this technology were Cinnamon Lee‘s rings … though I’m sure she was working on them for years before I set my eyes on them at the 2009 BUDA award exhibition.
As affordability, level of detail, accessibility to printers and usability of software improves, I’m sure we’ll see much more of this technology in the world of jewellery … not least because it permits expanded creativity for makers, but it also can make pieces more affordable for wearers (as it reduces manufacturing time for complex pieces).
I don’t think it’ll be very long before we see a kind of self-service or click-and-order situation …
What do you think?