When taking their creations from concept to completed piece, designers often bump into numerous challenges. A design may have intricate patterns that look beautiful but impede the flow of metal during casting, or it may require the joining of materials that don’t naturally lend themselves to attachment. A designer may also choose to work with unusual materials or create shapes or accents not easily achieved. This award recognizes the work of designers who have taken on such challenges successfully and expanded the realm of jewelry making and design.
Edward Mirell, Deerfield Beach, Florida
"Safari" Black & Gold Ti™. Designed in Black Ti™ and 14k gold, this ring is created with a new addition to the designers arsenal, "co-casting." This extraordinary technique has taken decades to develop and applies to refractory materials. This breakthrough allows the designer to combine strategic metals and other materials, including precious metals. The possibilities demonstrated through this new technology are virtually limitless.
Julie Buckareff, JJ Buckar, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Blue Zircon Diamond Rope Ring. This .950 platinum ring contains a 7.05 carat blue zircon; 1,006 diamonds at 3.04 carats (ideal cut, hearts and arrows, D-E color, IF-VVS clarity). Designed around a concept of a "celestial diamond rope," it seamlessly suspends pure color that can be appreciated from all sides
The challenge with this design was how to keep the round wire or "rope" effect throughout. The stone could not be bezel set in a traditional manner without destroying the round contour. The design also called for a seamless connection of all parts, with no visible polished metal showing when the ring was worn. That meant the diamonds had to be set all the way around the thin, round wire. this design would have been impossible to lay out by hand in any efficient manner.
To achieve these goals, the designer used CAD/CAM technologies and laser welding. Buckareff used CAD to first create a blue zircon that would mirror the actual stone. She then, again using CAD, created a round wire that she wrapped and shaped to match the original design, then covered it "virtually" with diamonds. She also marked the wire with "divots" to map each individual stone according to its size; this would help greatly when it was time to micro-pavé. She also pre-cut a seat to virtually match the facets and angles of the original blue zircon, another aid for the setter.
The CAD file was then sent as one piece to the photopolymer CAM printer. After the prototype was checked for accurcy, the entire ring was exploded into six individual pieces, each properly gated for casting in platinum, and then sent again to the printer. The six printed models were then cast in platinum.
The team pre-set the diamonds and welded all of the settings to the six parts, being careful to align the diamonds at specified angles using the precut divots. The parts, four of which were assembled around the zircon to secure, were then also joined by laser.
Also won Second Place, Laser Distinction.