Previously I’ve heard some colleagues ask if anyone is actually using Jewellery CAD/CAM in silversmithing. While I will admit there aren’t as many working in silversmithing as they’re are in jewellery, there are a growing number. One particularly strong exponent of new technology in silversmithing is Kathryn Hinton.
Since Kathryn Hinton’s MA degree at the Royal College of Art, she has been doing some fascinating and very innovative work with applying experimental uses of CAD/CAM, CNC Milling, and 3D Printing in the creation of hollow forms for silversmithing. I met her myself at a technology event earlier this year at the Goldsmiths Centre, and she’s a mighty clever lady.
If you’d like to hear what she’s doing in her own words, Craft Scotland just published a video interview with her at her residency at the Edinburgh College of Art.
With the new upsurge in 3D printing’s popularity, there seem to now be a cluster of jewellery designers (both amateur and professional) riding on the crest of the wave of popularity, pushing the limits of both the low end plastic printers as well as the higher end counterparts. I’ve picked out a few interesting jewellery examples worth noting:
Rapid Prototyping (more recently known as 3D printing) has been available for industrial design for over 2 decades now, and it’s been in increasingly widespread use with jewellery for a little less than a decade. But even with that, there are only a handful of designers who use rapid prototyping as a creative medium in and of itself. Mostly designers seem to handle CAD/CAM according to the old cosmetics adage: “If it’s done well, you won’t be able to see it.”
There are at least two major universities which have worked hard to push the boundaries of what can be done with this medium (namely Tyler School of Art, and Jewellery Industry Innovation Center at BCU), but once designers leave these halls few continue on a track of innovation with this, even after all this time.
This explains why I find it rather exciting to run across designers like this: