You may have heard about the intuitive technology behind ‘3D Printing’? The press hasn’t always been particularly kind about this creative feat thanks to fears that users will use it to craft objects of violence. Of course, mankind has always feared that which it does not fully understand so the jury is still out on whether 3D Printing is set to poise a common threat (it probably won’t!). Still, if you fancy yourself a 3D printing machine you may have to fork out a hefty few grand anyway so it’s not exactly pedestrian friendly just yet.
Anyway, where are we going with this? Right, there’s something of a divide in the jewellery world at the moment as artists debate the cultural value of 3D/CAD printed jewellery. If a popular jewellery manufacturer decided to transfer their talents to the craft of 3D Printing, would you feel this cheapened their produce or is it only the end result that matters?
Chanel for example is one of the high profile brands known to publicly acknowledge their dabbling with the tech for minimal design assistance. This was further clarified by the company’s purchasing and development director Georges Amer who explained “We encourage the development of the best traditional jewellery-making skills by asking our craftsmen to be able to create a piece entirely by hand.”
On the other hand, other manufacturers such as the London based Graff now operates with two 3D printers to help his talented team in perfecting the details of their jewellery. In a recent Telegraph article, there are excerpts wherein Mr Raymond Graff speaks with great enthusiasm about the technology and how he had to speak his employees around to its benefits: – “They said, ‘The machine is going to take our jobs,’ and I said, ‘Not at all, it’s going to help you’. Six months later I had to go and buy another one. That’s technology for you. If you don’t move with it, you get left behind.”