The Sculptural Jewelry of Othmar Wicke

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Seeing Is Believing: Case Study 1

By Shawna Kulpa

The wonderful thing about working with 3-D CAD that formal restrictions don’t exist, or at least I haven’t found them yet,” says Othmar Wicke of Wien, Austria. One look at his designs—particularly his lifelike and occasionally surrealistic depictions of sea creatures, insects, and other natural life—illustrate his point: Both his imagination and the possibilities of CAD seem limitless.

Wicke starts his designs by first doing pencil sketches, which he then imports into his Rhinoceros 3-D modeling program and refines them. He acknowledges that the software does have a learning curve, and that good planning is needed, along with an understanding of the necessary specifications for production (such as the minimum material thickness needed for a successful cast) but says it’s all still basically drawing in three-dimensional space. “A computer is a tool for me the same as a hammer, tongs, or a file, except it is much more complex.”