Today, we are so excited to feature a #CyantistWeLove who exemplifies so well the ideas that design is a process that can be learned and used across disciplines, and that hand drawing is the start to making things, something at the root of our products and workshops since inception! Artur is an Architect trained at the City College of New York School Of Architecture and currently working for the NY-based Architecture firm Openshop. Importantly, he has created a jewelry line and store called "Multiply Like Rabbits", an enchanting collection of pieces featuring rabbits, beautiful details and elegant lines. He uses storytelling and hand drawing to inspire the design of the pieces, which are then all digitally modeled and 3D Printed. By combining traditional design techniques with new technologies such as 3D Printing, he is able to create unique, and expressive jewelry. We also resonated with the use of storytelling as a starting point for design, so we are all the more glad he can share a few thoughts about his journey, his process and some advice for young Cyantists!
Cyant: You went from architecture to designing and 3D printing your creations: how do you think your background as an architect might have shaped that journey?
Artur: Architecture school taught me how to design. But what I found surprising is that design is universal. The same process used to make a building can be used to make a piece of jewelry. In school I definitely refined my style and learned a great deal about myself as a designer — and really pushed myself. In general, architecture school was helpful because it not only teaches form and function, but also experience as well as how objects relate to the human body.
Cyant: Why/how do you blend storytelling and drawing with design (love this concept for a number of reasons!) and how do you design your creations?
Artur: Everything I do starts with drawing. I was once told by my professor "if you don't draw an idea, it doesn't exist. And if you don't build it, it doesn't work". Sometimes I start the design process with a particular project in mind (like a tie bar or bracelet). Other times, ideas pop into my head and I explore it. I keep a notebook for jewelry sketches and also a notebook with personal sketches. Some of those drawings and motifs carry themselves into physical pieces.
Cyant: Rabbits are such lovable characters! Why did you choose to focus on them? And did using this character as a center of your designs present any challenge?
Artur: Back in high-school, I would draw in the margins of my notebooks and they became filled with drawings and stories of rabbits that expressed thoughts or feelings! Rabbits are cute and perhaps appear a little naive, and they are good to personify by giving them different expressions. I made my first 3D printed jewelry as a gift to my friend. I enjoyed the process so much, I wanted to create a second piece. One day in my notebook, I sketched a series of rings with rabbits. This became the initial inspiration for the project and things grew from there. I think one of the biggest challenges I faced was turning my rabbits from a sketch into a three dimensional character. Once I was able to do that, drawing and design blurred seamlessly into one. I also had to learn what was physically possible and how to balance this knowledge with attention to details.
Cyant: Which 3D Printing technologies do you use? Do you use other technologies or did you have to develop something new to obtain your creations?
Artur: To create my products, I send my digital files to the Shapeways facility in New York City. The shop uses an industrial sized machine to 3D print my design in high resolution wax. The machine is quite amazing because it features two nozzles which simultaneously print the wax cast as well as the support structure (this support structure is chemically dissolved away). Afterwards, the shop creates a plaster mold and injects liquid metal into the cast. Even though the process is initially made with machines and computers, the rest of the process is traditional lost wax casting used by jewelry makers for generations. I also have a personal 3D printer, a Mod-T by Newmatter, that I use to print prototypes and quickly test ideas. To design rings for all sizes possible, I needed to use a parametric design approach, and I developed Grasshopper scripts that would rebuild my models automatically for different sizes.
Cyant: What would you like to create next?!
Artur: I plan to work more on architectural pieces. I have found that people have a natural curiosity to this type of creations. I'd like to represent tiny details, in ways perhaps only possible with 3D Printing, but always with a focus on the story, whatever that story maybe.
Cyant: What advice for young Cyantists might you have?
Artur: When it comes to design and 3D printing, you'll realize you may spend hours on the computer trying to make the perfect piece... but until you print it... until you make it real, you won't know if it actually works. The best advice I can give to a young Cyantist is always test your ideas and never stop experimenting. Some ideas work great the first try, while other ideas is trial after trial. It may be disappointing to realize some ideas may not be a success, but remember it is a learning process. You'll realize the perfect piece is the result of countless prototypes you made in the past. So never stop making things.
We are grateful to Artur for sharing all these amazing thoughts and insights, as well as all these beautiful pictures which will no doubt delight and inspire Cyantists of all ages! And you can visit Multiply Like Rabbits to see more of his creations!