Jewelry

Today's #CyantistWeLove: Artur Dabrowski, Architect And Creator Of "Multiply Like Rabbits"

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

I was once told my my professor “if you don’t draw an idea, it doesn’t exist. And if you don’t build it, it doesn’t work”

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!

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

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.

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

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.

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

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.

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

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.

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

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.

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

Source: Artur Dabrowski, Multiply Like Rabbits

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!

Today's #CyantistWeLove: Alice Cabotse, founder and designer at Alice Etcaetera

Photo source:  Portrait "Alice Etcaetera"   ©  Claude Weber

Photo source: Portrait "Alice Etcaetera" ©  Claude Weber

3D printing is a precious tool to develop new virtuous - environmental, social & local - business models with no stock “made to order” and also “made to measure” concepts.

3D Printing has created and will continue to create new opportunities for designers all around the world. One very important opportunity is to be able to ingrain sustainability in the design and production processes, in addition to having access to new aesthetic and material options. So we are excited to feature french designer Alice Cabotse, who created Alice Etcaetera and who works everyday at the intersection of design and eco-consciousness as part of her mission. Alice has been harnessing the opportunities offered by 3D Printing for several of her collections. Nonetheless, her design approach still retains elements of traditional craftsmanship, and this blend of technology and time-tested methods is also an exciting innovation playground for designers. And while Alice is a designer now, she was actually a scientific major in high school, and she pursued her studies internationally! So we are all the more excited to discuss her study choices and her work with her!

Cyant: You finished high school with a scientific baccalaureate (French SATs), and then decided to study art and design. What compelled you to follow that route? Were you always interested in both or was there a specific moment that made you change direction?

Alice: I wanted to be a designer since the age of 12, when I discovered that you could earn a living drawing & creating ideas : it was called graphic design. By the age of 14 I knew it was possible to also "draw" everyday objects, furniture, cars, trains... it was called industrial design & sounded just amazing ! So knowing I wanted to be a "3 dimensional designer". I chose to do a scientific baccalaureate, as I didn't know if I will prefer to be in the engineer or artistic side of design. When I was 18, I moved to London to discover if I was good at itand followed a year of Foundation Studies in Art & Design at the London Metropolitan University. By the end of that year, I chose the more "artistic" side of design & started a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Product Design at the Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication. I have been loving every part of this new world, with endless possibilities, new horizons & freedom to create with the power of imagination !

Cyant: How did you start to use 3D Printing? What has it enabled you to do that was new in your design and production process?

Alice: I started working with 3D printing technologies in 2010 when I created my own collection of silver jewellery made in France & named “Grigris”.
As I did not have the know-how to produce my own wax originals (classic jewellery making process), I decided to imagine a new production process mixing contemporary technology with classic craftsmanship. I designed and 3D printed my originals (in laser sintering polyamide powder) then gave them to my open-minded craftsman to transform them - with his traditional Silversmith skills - into beautiful solid silver unique rings (classic "lost wax" technique & hand-polished).
3D printing gave me a new freedom as a designer : it allowed me to materialize exactly the form I imagined and created with the modeling software into a solid object.

Photo source:  Photos "Grigris" © Alice Etcaetera

Photo source: Photos "Grigris" © Alice Etcaetera

Cyant: Which 3D Printing technologies have you been using throughout your work?

Alice: I used 3D printed laser sintering polyamide powder to generate the originals of the silver jewelry collection “Grigris”. I also utilized 3D printed ceramic by scupteo.com to create the tableware collection “Essentielle". Throughout my work, I use 3D modeling software (e.g. Rhinoceros) to design my creations.

Cyant: Did you have to work with experts in other fields to achieve what you wanted?

Alice: No, not so far, as one of the quality of a Designer is to be like a sponge : to analyze and understand production processes, in order to get a global view & create with the constraints.

Cyant: How are you using 3D Printing to make an environmental impact? Or put in a differently how is 3D Printing playing a part in your eco-consciousness mission/goals?

Alice: 3D printing is a precious tool to develop new virtuous - environmental, social & local - business models with no stock “made to order” and also “made to measure” concepts.This means, we can design infinitely but rapidly produce a limited stock based on customer demand, requests and interests. So, this fast technology allows to create a diversity of tailored & unique sustainable solutions.

Cyant: You marry traditional crafts with 3D Printing. Can you give examples of your work that showcase that aspect? Is it a difficult balancing act, or is there a natural blending between the two methods of design and production? Does it require a different thinking and design process, innovating on the technology side?

Alice: I am very much influenced by Japanese aesthetic, Scandinavian design and the Art Déco period : I love “warm minimalism”. I am very much inspired by a quotation of Charlotte Perriand, collaborator of Le Corbusier and major French woman designer from the XXth century. Her ambition was “the sincere and constant research around a way of life connected to its time”. So "Natural blending" would be answer, as simplicity & harmony are keywords in my work. Designing a new jewelry making method gave me the freedom to imagine a collection of 24 different rings "Grigris", also designing a unique experience: a series of small architectures for the body, pieces of solid silver, raw, smooth, ultra polished and golden shimmers, to be composed freely and made to measure. This let me offer variations of material and dimension which can be juxtaposed endlessly. I combined 3D printing and traditional silversmithing, and an innovative detail about the "Grigris"jewelry, was that I chose to show the printing stratums "mystery lines" in the final silver rings (raw silver versions) as a contemporary & minimalist way to create "naturally" decorative engraving.

Photo source:  Photos "Essentielle" Alice Etcaetera ©    Claude Weber

Photo source: Photos "Essentielle" Alice Etcaetera ©  Claude Weber

"Essentielle"  is a tableware set in 3D printed ceramic which was printed locally by the French 3D printing service company Sculpteo.com. This collection is composed of three universal functions to eat & drink: a plate, a bowl and a cup, that can be stacked up into a compact form, for everyday use.Following my sustainability goal, the ceramic set is made to order online in a choice of 8 colours, creating a new sustainable economic model with no stock.
Like the jewelry collection "Grigris", "Essentielle" tableware is the result of mixing high contemporary technology with classic craftsmanship. Designed and printed in 3D ceramic (laser sintering specific compound powder original), then glazed at more than 1 000°C (classic ceramic enamel technique). I love this dialogue between old & new... "roots & wings".

Cyant: What advice do you have for young Cyantists who would like to work on eco-conscious design projects?

Alice: To think "good loop" design - to source eco-labeled primary materials (biodegradable or recycled & recyclable or durable & repairable...) and to think about local productions "made to order" to be carbon neutral - referring to the Cradle to Cradle eco-systems and values.
Last but not least "design with Love" !

Thanks Alice for this great advice! We are also grateful for the photos Alice provided who are credited to photographer Claude Weber. And you can find out more about Alice’s work at: www.aliceetcaetera.com !