Summer Powell of Summerized Designs graciously took time to answer questions about what inspires her unique, contemporary jewelry designs, the challenges of 3D jewelry design and what's next for her collection in 2013.
Be sure and check out the slideshow for more examples of Summer Powell's 3D Jewelry designs.
What challenges do you face when designing 3D printed jewelry?
One of the biggest challenges is the 2-3 weeks time lag between sending a design to the 3d printer, and receiving the printed piece in the mail. Even though you can see a picture of the piece on the screen, it can be hard to tell what the solid, three-dimensional piece will look like in person. And a piece that needs several rounds of refinement may take months to complete, what with the lag time. That said, there are also a lot of serendipitous things that happen in this process, like discovering that a certain group of lines creates a lovely moire pattern when you see the piece in person.
On your website, it says you are a lover of dichotomies; can you talk about how your pieces illustrate your interest in this theory?
Some of my pieces, such as the Faceted Ovals Necklace reference glamorous, baroque jewelry. Yet they are also minimal an ethereal -- three-dimensional drawings that describe the space held by sumptuous gems. They evoke sparkly bright gems, yet they’re matte, and the lines often create a very op-art feeling. Other pieces, such as the Andromeda Necklace, feel both natural and artificial, like ice formations or the 1980’s Asteroids video game.
How much time do you spend on research before you actually begin creating a piece?
It really varies. Sometimes I run with an instinct, like with the Mod Moire PearlEarrings,and just start sketching CAD immediately. Other times, I gather images and ideas for a few hours. Currently creating animal-inspired pieces that require research into the three-dimensional shape of the animal to capture their essence.
How long does it take you from start to finish to create a piece? Let’s say a pair of Andromeda earrings?
Some pieces (such as the Rock Star Diamond Earrings) are essentially finished when I receive the first prototype from the 3d printer. Others, such as the Andromeda Earrings or Necklace,can take months. I sketched the Andromeda Necklace in two dimensions, then created it in three dimensions in CAD, on the computer. From there, I did about five iterations of 3d printing prototypes, and refining the necklace before I was satisfied with the result. After that, I created the Andromeda Earrings from some of the elements of the necklace, and they were finished in three iterations.
Which are your best selling pieces and why do you think that these designs are most popular?
The Andromeda Necklace is a big hit this season. It’s a very unique statement necklace that exemplifies the geometric and pattern trends. People love the Future Victorian Emerald Earrings and Necklace because they’re so flattering and delicate-looking on everyone. Plus, the tromp l’oeil effect is very distinct.
What is your favorite piece on your website right now?
Definitely the Andromeda Necklace. I love the attention I get when wearing it.
Who are three artists or architects who inspire you?
I love the irreverence and fun of the Campana brothers furniture, the op patterns of Victor Vasarely, and the fusion of modern and tribal themes in Mara Hoffman’s clothing.
Your bio also states an interest in mythologies and ancient symbols how have these interests manifested in your designs?
Sacred geometry fascinates me. I love the idea that a simple geometric shape or symbol can carry meaning and power, and that adornments can also function as talismans. In Greek temples the columns define the space, and the difference between inside and out, yet air can flow freely through the framework. I feel that my designs define space in a similar way. Currently I’m creating a collection inspired by ancient Egyptian and Greek references, combined with more abstract geometries.
Where is your current inspiration coming from?
It comes from so many places -- cell structures, DNA, Diana's diadem, Super Mario Brothers, animals, spirographs, Amazonian ecosystems and constellations, to name a few.
What does being brave mean to you?
It means doing what makes you happy, and trusting that everything will fall into place beautifully from there.
What’s next for you in 2013?
I’m creating new collections based on animals, digital moires, and Egyptian space stations. I’m 3d scanning and remixing reality in jewelry, sculptures and housewares. I’m exploring collaborations with other innovative makers.
Where can my readers find you online?