approx 45 x 22cm
The cube is a fundamental unit on which much of the built environment is based. The seemingly hard surfaces soften and deform, over time, the corners are knocked off, the edges chipped and the crisp geometry is eroded.
In this neckpiece, I have combined the logical forms of the cube to create visual complexity from a single unit reflecting the geometries embedded in the digital technologies of CAD and 3D printing and finished by hand to make a contemporary version of the classic six strand neckpiece.
The urban grid appears on the surface as a fixed, containing structure. However, over time the grid evolves to reveal a form that is self supporting and yet flexible. Its foundations remain intact where the surface is abstracted or abraded through time and use. Embracing digital technologies provides the opportunity to shift these ideas into material form. I want to capture the shifting nature of the grid and reveal it’s dissolving, porous nature once people are embedded within it.
I use CAD drawings as a stage in making jewellery. Combined with the essential tools of pencil, paper and camera, CAD drawings not only help with capturing an idea but also in revealing unforeseen results. I use the cube as a formal component repeated frequently as a metaphor for the built environment and for the grid/axis of the CAD program and 3D printer. The stacking, linking and offsetting of these small cubes within the CAD drawing is done in an environment where the laws of physics do not apply in the usual way. In CAD there is no ‘gravity’, solid objects can pass through other objects, and hence my CAD drawings have enabled multiple components to be interlinked in new ways. Combined with Selective Laser Sintering 3D printing, this process allows many moving parts to be constructed as one object. The common effect of dematerialising the angular geometry of the cube leads to forms that flop and tumble with a weight and structure in ways that suggest the object has organic origins.
Beyond the fact that the work exists in 3-dimensions there are very particular material properties that are present – reflection of light, texture and porosity – these all result from the print and this process of transformation results in playful jewellery and objects that beg to be held or worn.