Desmond Chan: The Romance of 3D Printed Jewellery
He couldn’t get a special present for the love of his life, so he made one for her, marrying his 3D modelling skills with 3D printing. From a single star pendant to an entire collection of jewellery for luck and love, Desmond Chan has come a long way.
Q: Your recently – launched Kinetic Ring seems like a precious but playful ring. Are your designs generally playful?
A: My intention is to create a fun and playful ring that is inspired by kinetic rolling balls. This ring with three ruby spheres start at the top track, and by gravity follow a path into a small spiral. The rolling gemstones move with every movement of the wearer.
Q: How did you start out designing 3D printed jewellery?
A: I started making jewellery in 2013 when I couldn’t find a special Christmas present for my wife. So, I decided to use my 3D modelling skills to build a star-shaped pendant and used 3D printing technology to make it in sterling silver. That was my first jewellery design and she still enjoys wearing it.
Q: Do you think that jewellery must be made of precious metals? Why?
A: Materials that I use most commonly in my designs include sterling silver and 14k gold. I like sterling silver the most, because it can be shaped into almost any form imaginable. I want to create jewellery that has a personal story and sentimentality to it.
Q: Do you think 3D printing is a good way of producing personalised jewellery?
A: 3D printing is helping jewellery designers to develop their own brands. They are able to transform their designs into wearable jewellery without having to invest a lot of money and learning traditional manufacturing methods. Designers can simply focus on designing custom-made jewellery and intricate detail jewellery on-demand at reasonable production cost.
Q: Do you find that at different periods, you are inspired by different themes? How does this work out?
A: I love to mix new technology with art to create another form with a new definition, and I try to reflect that in my jewellery collections as well. I am inspired by everything, from Modern Art to something I see on the streets.
Q: What are the new designs you think your fans should look out for in the near future?
A: My latest creation is the Zodiac Tiger Ring. The Tiger is one in the twelve-year animal cycle that appears in the Chinese Zodiac. The Tiger’s nature is to seek out opportunities wherever they can, to improve their abilities and hone their profession. It represents strength, courage, and determination. The beautiful Tiger Ring with delicate patterns of lace is born out of my intention to bring the wearer beauty, good luck and love in life. I will continue to create the remaining Chinese Zodiac Rings in the near future.
Q: Would you consider taking up commissions to design jewellery for individual clients?
A: Actually, I am also working on personalised jewellery program that allows individual clients to create their own piece. I can print on-demand after the client confirms the design. I don’t have to stock big inventories of products, so I can reduce financial risk for myself and offer a reasonable price to my customers.