I’ve just been asked to speak at a jewelry and metals conference in
Melbourne, Australia titled “Inherited Futures–Technologies to Trap
Ideas.” I’ve very excited about this opportunity. My topic is “a
range of technologies used in the making of American jewelry and
small objects designed to be produced in multiples.” A less long
winded way of saying it is, “The Technology of Production Work.” I’m
very familiar with some jewelry processes for production but would
like to gather more on recent developments of the use of
CAD/CAM technology, 3D lithography and rapid prototyping and
anything else of a similar vain. I’d love to start a thread on how
Orchid members are, in the words of the conference hosts, “claiming
technology for creative production.” I’m especially interested in
original and creative jewelry and objects designed to be multiples
that are generated using technology as part or all of the process.
It would be my guess that the most common use of the computer by
metalsmiths in their studio work or business is in CAD, but that
fewer metalsmiths have the resources for CAM. As was recently
suggested on Orchid, given the expense of the equipment and the
remarkably quick obsolescence of any technology these days, it may
make more sense to job out CAM processes to shops that specialize in
this sort of work instead of investing tens of thousands of dollars
in your own equipment. I can see pros and cons either way. Perhaps
we could start a discussion with the following questions.
How do you use computer technology in your studio work?
Do you use it to produce multiples (production work) for the
markets such as craft shows and trade shows?
How has the use of computers changed your studio work and
Do you job out some of the processes to industrial resources such
as machine shops or CAD/CAM specialty facilities?
I’d appreciate any answers you care to provide.