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Elena Howell’s Ring: Now Showing in 3-D

06/22/2011

Before doing a deep dive into the world of jewelry, Elena Coleman Howell was an architect. “The Southern California Institute of Architecture, where I received my master’s degree, is known for being avant-garde and innovative—the curriculum emphasizes digital design and digital fabrication,” the she explains. “When I make jewelry, I utilize the same processes I learned in school, the only differences being the scale of the designs, the materials I use, and the hand-finishing.” Here, a pictorial guide to the creation process.

Like what you see? Scoop up one of the 25 rings here.


“First, I design the ring in a 3-D software program called Rhino. This is the initial ring form.”


“Here I’m experimenting with different shapes.”


“The final ring form, as viewed from four angles.”


“Then, the digital design is ‘printed’ out of wax using a 3-D printer.”


“This is a finished wax model—the one for this ring ended up being too delicate for human fingers.”


“The ring is cast in brass using the lost wax casting technique. Then it’s hand-polished to a satin finish and plated with 18-karat gold.”

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