Rarer than Gold, Tantalum is the world’s darkest, naturally-occurring, grey-black metal. Durable and dramatic, it offers handsome contrast to the gold colours of antiquity. And, with fine malleability and formability, it responds beautifully when forged with other precious metals. The naturally grey black metal is perfect for men's wedding bands.
At Davidson Jewels, customization is more than a business plan: it’s a philosophy. This jewelry design studio, based in Calgary, designs and builds custom jewelry and engagement rings, working with clients from concept to final piece to create jewelry that “is as unique as that special person in your life.”
The custom jewelry design and development process begins with listening. Once Davidson & Co. has worked to understand a client’s needs, the next step is design. The studio uses computer-aided design (CAD) software and a Formlabs Form 2 3D printer to prototype pieces for clients to test, making sure that the concept and fit are perfect before moving on to source the gemstone and materials from their global suppliers.
We interviewed designer Ian Davidson about how he became interested in jewelry, how prototyping tools have evolved the industry, and how he uses Formlabs Black Resin and Castable Resin to prototype and finalize his custom pieces.
How did you get involved with jewelry?
I attended art school in the late 1960s and early 1970s studying painting. My first introduction to jewelry was as an option in art school. After college, it was a simple way to earn money to support myself by selling my pieces at craft fairs. I soon learned that it was a good fit with my creativity and ability to work with people. I also loved tools and figuring out how things were made.
How does your jewelry fit in with the broader landscape of the industry?
I work today from my streetfront jewelry design studio, where I present a small collection. But I mostly work with retail clients on individual projects that they bring to me.
Davidson Jewels’ custom engagement rings are set with sparkling diamonds, lustrous pearls, and colorful gemstones, showcased in a variety of 18 karat golds and precious metals.
How did you first start working with CAD and bringing technology into the process?
I bought my first CAD system in 1989, a 2D CAD program called Power Draw, a Mac computer, and a pen plotter to output the drawings. I knew something was going to happen with computers and jewelry design, and wow, did it ever. I bought into Gemvision’s software, Matrix, at version 3 to explore design possibilities with my clients and to be able quickly make design changes. But 3D output was not readily available, so most of the time I hand-carved the wax model by hand.
I bought the first version of a printer that used digital light projection (DLP). It was nice to be able to print in 3D, but I paid the price for early adoption, as it was difficult to get good, consistent prints. A dream came true when I purchased a Form 1+. True plug-in and print at a great price, and the same for my Form 2, which is even more consistent.
The Form 2 has the biggest “cool” factor for my customers. They have all heard about 3D printing and how it’s going to change their lives, but have never seen one. The Form 2 is located in the public area of the studio and it gets a lot of attention.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in moving from prototype to production?
In the beginning, I used 3D printing as a proof of concept tool with clients. After getting approval, I would send an STL file to an outside service bureau to be grown again and cast. Today, I do all of that in house. The biggest problem I faced moving from prototype to production was curing the resin. Resin that is cured properly makes casting easy.
How does prototyping jewelry pieces ahead of time in Black Resin help you?
I like using Black Resin to help my clients see exactly what their new piece is going to look like. If they are going to take the model home to share it with their partner or think further on the design, it’s hard, durable, and wearable.
What’s your experience been like with Castable Resin? What is your casting workflow?
I find that Castable Resin works very well when the material is cured properly. After curing the resin, I invest it with a St. Louis vacuum investment mixer and follow Formlabs’ burnout instructions. I burn out overnight, casting in the morning with a Schultheiss VPC 040 casting machine. I get great results with castings that clean up quickly only using sandpaper (and a file on the sprue).
What does the future of jewelry look like? How will technology like 3D printing change the industry?
I think that the future looks bright for jewelry designers who master the use of 3D design software and printers. 3D printing technology makes it possible to quickly design, explore, change, and produce accurate and complex models that may have taken days to create by hand, with no possibility of change without scrapping many hours of work.
Selling Custom Jewelry
Custom design is the future of the jewelry industry, and your business needs the best tools to adapt. Download our tip sheet to learn how to approach the custom sales experience, from recommended workflows to where 3D printing fits in.
reprinted from https://formlabs.com/blog/designing-prototyping-custom-jewelry-3d-printing/
Stacking expresses personality in many different ways, the ring stack you create is determined by individual style and tastes. With multiple rings, you can wear them differently every day.
Choose Your Metal
A monochrome grouping of rings may be the perfect way to start your stack, but with each ring being sculpted and textured differently creating a unique look. Want a bolder look? Try our rings in new and exceptional colors ..... rosewood, sand, gray, green, ivory, red, yellow, and white.
North to South or East to West
The traditional way to stack your ring may be running the length of the finger, but the ideal stack for you may be across the hand or a combination of both.
The picture perfect stack for you may be the all white platinum and diamond look. For a more bold look, colored gemstones may add the dazzle that excites you. Deep blue sapphires, hot pink tourmalines, or blood red rubies could be perfect in your new stack.
Looking to create your own unique stacking rings? Or to add to an existing set? Stop by our downtown Calgary studio in the East Village.
In 1989 I bought my first CAD (computer-assisted design) software program. I had an original Mac computer which had less storage and computing power than the phone that resides in my pocket and a software program called Powerdraw. It was a simple 2d drafting program for architects that allowed me to take the first steps in a journey that would completely transform the way I created jewelry for my clients. More powerful computers with colour monitors became available, and design software added the third dimension. It was time to buy a more powerful computer and a new program called FormZ. This software allowed me to rotate, flip, look inside and develop new designs in a 3d work space. I worked with this program for many years its weakness was that it was an architectural program lacking jewelry functionality. The new millennium brought a new developer of 3d design tools for jewelry creation. Gemvision Matrix, now at version 9, is revolutionary software that perfects the art of custom design jewelry.
Matrix allows me to quickly explore concepts for custom pieces primarily engagement and wedding rings. The accuracy of CAD designs allows my clients to see what their engagement ring is going to look like before we move to the creation stage. It allows us to answer critical design questions before the making of the piece such as is the diamond too high or perhaps too low this can be changed in the software quickly. How would the design look if the accent diamonds were larger or a different shape? We can view these possibilities with our state of the art software.
Want to explore the creation of your perfect engagement or wedding ring?
A FINE LINE OF LIGHT
A delicate line of diamonds traces the perfectly balanced, sweeping outline of the tension ring. Set exactly in the center, it emphasizes the soft form and frames the solitaire. The small diamonds underline its sparkle without rivaling it. The fine line of light directs all attention to the solitaire.
This amazing platinum and diamond engagement ring is currently available at Davidson Jewels in Calgary. If you're searching for outstanding engagement rings please get in touch with us, or stop by our East Village studio to experience our collection of Niessing tension rings.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to design custom engagement rings for my clients in 18k rose gold. This beautiful gold has been gaining popularity in recent years and is a beautiful addition to the jewelry designers color pallet.
History of Rose Gold
The history of rose gold in modern times can be traced to 19th century Russia, known at the time as Russian gold. During the 1920s Cartier popularized rose gold with their “Trinity” a ring made of 3 interlocking bands of rose, yellow and white gold.
What is Rose Gold
Rose gold is created with the careful combination of 24k gold with copper and silver. The combination of 3 very soft metals would seemingly produce a soft alloy, but the opposite is true. If not mixed properly the resulting metal will be hard and brittle causing rings and claws to break easily. In our Calgary design studio Davidson Jewels have mastered the perfect alloy, strong but malleable.
Why Rose Gold?
I love that today’s jewelry buyer has a refined design sense and wants more than what is on trend. Rose gold is elegant, timeless and warm giving you another color option to express your style. The choice of rose gold will showcase your diamonds, and enhances the color of the gemstones you have chosen for your engagement ring.
Where to Find Unique Rose Gold in Calgary
If you are looking to create a unique rose gold engagement ring or wedding band in Calgary we are available at Davidson Jewels in Calgary’s East Village.
Here are some fascinating myths and legends that may inspire you as you peruse your next jewelry selection:
Turquoise, blue topaz, blue zircon, and other teal colored stones represent a wearer both sophisticated and down to earth.
Sailors would have aquamarine with them on trips across the sea, with the hope that Poseidon would spare the ship, and prevent them from drowning should they fall in.
In Hindu and Persian culture, it is believed that one who observes the reflection of the moon in turquoise will be granted luck, wealth, and protection from evil.
Purple lovers who wear amethyst, tanzanite, purple sapphire, and lavender chalcedony are creative and in tune with their spirituality. Amethyst is also an amulet for good luck, and constancy. Also a totem of sobriety, as the amethyst appear to be "stained" by the wine of Bacchus, in olden days, it was a symbol of avoiding intoxication, and the inevitable hangover.
Those who enjoy smoky quartz, tiger's eye, and champagne diffused topaz, in the brown colored stone family have a simple elegance and treasure comfort and harmony in their lives.
Yellow diamonds, yellow sapphires, topaz, and citrine are symbolic of a wearer with inquiring minds. During the Middle Ages, topaz was used to ward off sadness, bring wisdom, and bestow courage. It was even used to relieve insomnia.
Blue stones like sapphire, lapis, aquamarine, and certain types of topaz represent loyalty and communicate a sense of trust and stability. They are dependable and confident, and were in the past, worn by those protected by the wicked. Ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant sapphire, which explained why the sky was a reflective blue.
Black stones like onyx, black spinel, black diamonds, and certain types of pearls provide an authority to the wearer, and a sense of power and respect.
Orange colored stones like carnelian, topaz, citrine, and types of garnet, opal, and sapphires are representative of the adventurer, and successful in business.
Here are some fascinating myths and legends that may inspire you as you peruse your next jewelry selection:
Rumor has it that those who like white or clear colored stones prefer to be straight-forward and no-nonsense. These self-sufficient and assured people tend to love diamonds, white topaz, white sapphires, moonstones, opals, and pearls.
Ancient Romans would put Pearls in their drinks because they believed them to be aphrodisiacs and would facilitate passion.
Opal, by legend, were created when the gods threw lightning bolts, trapping them bolts in the ground and becoming stone.
Diamonds were totems against evil, illness, thieves, dangerous animals, and poison.
Pink colored stones, like sapphires, pink diamonds, morganite, tourmaline, pink spinel, pink mystic topaz, and rhodolite garnet are sensuous and romantic, encouraging sensitivity and the assurance to be bold, talented, gentle, dynamic, and outgoing.
Red colored stones such as red spinel, garnet, and ruby encourage a well-informed zest for life. These stones are prized by those who find themselves competitive, daring, and very energetic. Rubies additionally were used to protect their wearer from misfortune and represent reconciliation.
Green stones, like emerald, bloodstone, jade, tourmaline, peridot, and chrysoprase are those beloved by social and well-adjusted, kind-hearted and generous partners who honor loyalty and seek balance. Emeralds were thought to have great power, and used in powdered form to aide against epilepsy, stop bleeding, cure dysentery, fever, and avert panic. Emerald also is a symbol of precognition.