When the world is waiting with bated breath for the ‘future’ where from having self-tying shoes to riding on flying cars everything will be possible, improved printing technology is showing a glimpse of the future. While many are vouching that 3D printing will change the way we print things in the future, LA-based architect Jenny Wu has already gone ahead and introduced a new level to 3D printing by releasing her new line of 3D printed jewelry called LACE by Jenny Wu. By combining fashion with future printing technology, Jenny Wu has heralded a brighter future for fashion enthusiasts.
In a recent interview with a leading news portal, Wu confessed that 3D printed jewelry will take the DIY concept to a new level. Taking inspiration from an H.R. Giger painting, Wu has used materials such as sterling silver, rose gold, polished and flexible nylon and wood to create these outstanding jewelry. A few examples of her creations include the Stria necklace (priced above $450) which is an interlocking piece that seems to be inspired from the 1990s tattoo chokers often seen in sci-fi films and a Mobius ring priced above $90.
The bug of 3D printing hit Wu quite a long time back, she confessed. As a design faculty with the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), she has been instructing students and using 3D printing for over a decade now. 3D printing helps in architectural model making, she notes. Since Wu is also a partner with the LA-based experimental firm Oyler Wu Collaborative, she always wanted to find a new application to 3D printing.
Wu found the right opportunity to incorporate 3D printing with jewelry when she started looking at the latter as ‘architecture on the body’. Her previous experience of using line-based geometry in design installations and buildings helped in conceptualizing 3D for designing jewelry.
What began merely as sketching and doodling soon became reality. She started with the project for more than a year and a half ago and literally took baby steps. She first started to 3D model the designs digitally and after gaining considerable confidence began prototyping the pieces. Finally, she 3D printed them to see how they looked and fitted. She further got the boost and confidence to go ahead with her idea when while attending the Art Basel in Miami in December 2014, she wore a few prototype necklaces. The jewelry pieces were an instant hit at Miami and that’s when LACE by Jenny Wu became a reality.
When asked how much time does 3D printing take in this case of jewelry printing, the architect highlighted that printing depends on the material used. It takes about four to five hours to print a simple nylon ring while it can take more than 50 hours to print a necklace, she said. She further highlighted that when more complex designs are printed, it automatically takes more time. All the production schedules have to coordinate in order for the jewelry to be completed in time.
As an architect, LA has been an architectural inspiration for Wu. She is particularly inspired by an entrance into the LA River near SCI-Arc. She not only finds the place cool but architecturally brilliant. The interesting network of concrete structures with bridges flying above makes for a pleasant site, she adds.