3D Printing and Jewelry

Sterling Silver Necklace from Nervous System.

Sterling Silver Necklace from Nervous System.

Though it may sound way out-there for an industry with a long history of handicraft, 3D printing is becoming a major reality in the world of jewelry and it’s only going to grow in significance.

Sterling Silver Nervous System ring.

Sterling Silver Nervous System ring.

The very basics of how 3D printing works is that you start with a digital image of the final product, which is broken down into very thin layers and sent to the printer. The fully automated machine then builds up minuscule layer by minuscule layer of, for example, stainless steel particles, which are bound together to create a solid object (watch a metal demo here and a plastic demo here). It used to take many hours and a huge machine to do this, but just like with PCs, the printers are becoming much smaller and cheaper. You can now buy a desktop model for around US$2,000 from MakerBot that will produce plastic objects. Base metals and plastics were the first materials used, but now sterling silver is widely available and gold is just starting to emerge.

Nylon Kimberly Ovitz with Shapeways Collar.

Nylon Kimberly Ovitz with Shapeways Collar.

The advantages of 3D printing are that you can cost-effectively make custom items, but also easily mass produce them too with no models and no waste. You don’t even need your own machine, as companies like Shapeways and Kraftwurx allow you to send in CAD images and they will print the item for you. A new line called Kimberly Ovitz with Shapeways will debut at the designer’s runway show on February 7 at New York Fashion Week. The quick turnaround time that 3D printing allows will be taken advantage of as customers can order the pieces straight from the runway. Expect to see more of it this coming year and in the future.

Nylon Kimberly Ovitz with Shapeways rings.

Nylon Kimberly Ovitz with Shapeways rings.

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Federica Rettore

18k gold, stainless steel, diamond and sapphire. All images courtesy of Frederica Rettore.

The earrings pictured above were the first pieces by Frederica Rettore that caught my eye. It made me think of slightly sinister fairy tales, but I also appreciated the balance of open space.  Rettore is an Italian designer who debuted her line in 1994 after years of apprenticeship in Milan. Her collections are known for an interesting mix of textures, colors and materials.

18k gold, moonstone, diamond, and black Zebu horn.

18k gold, moonstone, diamond, and black Zebu horn.

18k gold, diamond, green tourmaline and emerald.

18k gold, diamond, green tourmaline and emerald.

 

 

 

18k gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, diamond, amazonite, and black Zebu horn.

18k gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, diamond, amazonite, and black Zebu horn.

 

2013 SAG Awards Jewelry

Amanda Seyfried SAG 2013

Amanda Seyfried wearing lavender jade Lorraine Schwartz necklace. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

What a difference a couple weeks makes… The jewelry on the red carpet was quite different at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night compared to the Golden Globes. Subdued would probably best describe it, as simple diamond studs were quite popular and sadly quite dull. What was noticeable were a number of interesting necklaces, which was not seen at the GGs, and some standouts are pictured here. Let’s hope the jewelers were saving the really good stuff for the Oscars on February 24!

UPDATE: See the complete list of who wore what on JCK.

Busy Philipps wearing opal Irene Neuwirth necklace. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Busy Philipps wearing opal Irene Neuwirth necklace. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Helen Hunt wearing diamond Neil Lane necklace. (Getty)

Helen Hunt wearing diamond Neil Lane necklace. (Getty)

Jessica Chastain wearing diamond Harry Winston necklace. (Getty)