RAW 02/52 FOLD Ring #2

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got a bit behind with the new designs for the RAW (Ring A Week) challenge since I was trying to catch up on orders and test my new casting equipment.

For the second ring I still went somewhat with the fold scheme. I modeled a simple ring. it has a fold line at the center with various depth. After I thought about how to model this design for the last two weeks it was actually pretty simple do get it to work at the end. Just drew the outlines and some cross sections and created the inner and outer closed loops with a 2 rail sweep. The sharp edges were bend by a bit to make it more comfortable. I am curious to see how this actually feels on a finger.

I think I will model one more design before I sent it off to the 3D printer.

RAW 01/52 FOLD Ring

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My first RAW (Ring A Week) ring is finally modeled and ready to be 3D printed. I used my inspiration images posted a couple days ago for the FOLD theme. For the first ring I kept it simple since I am still struggling to figure out how to model things  with this software. The simple bands outer face has a smooth folding surface that resembles something close to flowing fabric folds.

I modeled it using T-splines plug to get the smooth folds. Lines were laid out flat over a surface to create creases.  Peaks and valleys could be adjusted by moving surface points. After that I used the command "flow along surface" to wrap it around the inner tube.

side view

Top View

 I uploaded it to Shapeways for 3d printing in stainless steel. But there is a minimum order amount and  I will wait 1 to 2 weeks to have a couple more rings modeled before I order them. I also still want to inscribe  my name and the RAW ring number into the inside of the ring. Since this is stainless steel I don't think I can use my normal steel stamps to put my makers mark in them.
So I guess I will play around a bit more this coming week.

Got printed ABS models back from Ponoko and did some test castings. Love the texture of the 3D printing lines. The inside  was polished and the outside  was left with printing texture.

RAW52/16 cast2



RAW Inspiration : FOLDS

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I am trying to get my head really into the RAW project and set some parameters before I design my first ring.  I decided to treat this project a bit different than how I usually design my jewelry and return more to the conceptual design that I learned in architecture school. Most of my other ring designs are influenced by gem stones I own. Once I play with a stone the ring shape usually materialized without ever sketching anything on paper. I use a very intuitive sculpting of the wax around the stone until I am satisfied wit the sculpture in my hand.
For RAW I am using CAD software to model it and print the rings in stainless steel or plastic. With that I want to explore more the formal aspect of form and shape and forgo using gem stones altogether. That won't be easy as I love those pretty starkly treasures of nature. But I believe the return to simple shapes and forms will be a great reward. And no one says I can't do variations of those shapes by incorporating gem stones later on.

I wrote down some themes I want to explore a bit more with my ring designs in the next 52 weeks. Some themes will last for multiple weeks until I am done with them or they will morph into each other.

The first one will be FOLDS.
Here some inspirational images I found on flickr.

1. Folded, 2. The Town School, 3. milwaukee museum of art, 4. green glasses in folds, 5. Chelsea Modern, 6. Folds, 7. Folded Spike, 8. jorge ayala/ folded surfaces (6), 9. Dress, 10. Fin_Shelter_07.jpg, 11. Folded, 12. the bends, 13. inner folds, 14. Habitat Egg - 4 Views, 15. folding facade, 16. 3 spine concertina fold, 17. stri_06, 18. Edificio Av. Mexico - detail, 19. Curved Fold Study, 20. garden inspiration, 21. ARKTURA_Flow Bench 2, 22. (Neil Denari), 23. 2006 09.24 | Neil Denari - Endeavor Screening Room, 24. Textured Panel with Window, 25. Folded rock, 26. Folds, 27. Red rock folds, 28. Folded by Air, 29. Facetious from another angle, 30. bracelet cuff, 31. a land not mine, 32. Eyelash Viper (Bothriechis schlegeli, Greifschwanzlanzenotter), 33. voluptuous curves, 34. Satin steel, 35. Origami Romanesco, 36. on the window sill

Other themes for the next few weeks are:

  • slices
  • tubes
  • surface deformations
  • cellular/organic patterns
  • nesting 
  • growth
  • chaos
  • moire
  • mikado
  • screens
  • interlocking
  • flow - water - ripples
  • bubbles
  • hives
  • roots
  • branches

I am really getting excited about this project. I am hoping to post the first ring design on Sunday. I am still software challenged but hope to figure it out. Stay tuned.

Etsymetal Blog Carnival - Resolutions

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What is a Blog Carnival?
It is EtsyMetal members who write an article on the same topic.
Our New Years Topic: Resolutions

Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr!

Is that time of the year again that everyone makes a few resolutions for the new year and I am no exception.

First goal: I will learn 3d modeling for my jewelry line and create one ring per week.
“Old dogs can learn new tricks” and I really wanted to get into 3D modeling for some time. Well, I use CAD in my day job but it's mostly 2D and the shapes are simpler. The software I use at work does not work well for jewelry. So my goal is to learn form generation in Rhino3D. It's a software used to model simple or complex forms. 

 Playing around with different tools in Rhino to create a simple New Years ring.

To stay on target I joined Ring A Week ( RAW ) group on flickr. This is a challenge to create a ring a week. I did RAD (Ring A Day) last year but could not keep up with the photography portion and flaked out after some 30 or so rings. RAW will work better with my schedule. Just creating a ring a week in my usual wax working technique would not really be a challenge for me but doing so in CAD will definitely get me some gray hair. So I will have to finish a ring design every week in 3D and then have it printed on a 3D printer like Shapeways.  There will be a 2 week time delay between the modeling and actually getting the printed design in my hands but I think I will just roll with it. I am really hoping to expand my ring designs and come up with some new shapes and maybe even rings for new collections.

Second goal: Find more revenue streams. 
Selling on Etsy has been pretty good so far and it is constantly growing. But to kick my business into the next gear I will need to find more places to sell. Artful Home has been a good addition for the last 3 month. But I also need some local presence. I tried a couple retail and trade shows but it did not pay off. So I will have to start approaching galleries. Since I am really shy, this won't be easy to just go in and pitch my line. But I have nothing to loose and no excuse not to try.

Third Goal: Try more techniques and learn new skills. 
I am in the process of setting up my own casting equipment. I am still working out some technical challenges but hope to be able to do a couple test castings in the next few weeks. If all goes well this should allow me to cast pieces that my local casting shop won't do, like casting with stones in place and burn out of organic materials and plastics like the 3D printed models from the RAW challenge. With silver metal price still climbing this also allows me to recycle some of my old metal and scraps. One way to a greener studio.

The biggest goal for this year: Escape Cubicle Nation.
By the end of 2011 I would like to quit my day job and do my own business full time. I know it's a pretty big goal and I might not get there. But one has to aim high to accomplish something. For the last few month I tried to do a 4 day work week only and I really enjoyed that. It gave me a little more time for my jewelry and made the work week fly by really fast. I'd like to continue that for the next few month and eventually even reduce it to a 3 day work week. I still work the other days in the studio but at least I have a few nights off to do fun things like meeting friends or just reading a book.

Other than those business goals I love to have more fun and take extra time to enjoy my personal life. I need to get out of the studio more on weekends and take the bike and the dogs to the beach. What sense does it make to live only 3 miles from the beach but never ever go there to enjoy the nice sea breeze. I also need to practice more yoga to keep those back pains at bay. And then there are still a few remodeling projects around the house that need to get done.

Please check out resolutions by other Etsymetal team members:

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