The design for these cuff links was based on the progression of a pattern of beams collapsing from an ordered structure to complete chaos.
During the conceptual phase, several iterations of the deformation-in-progress were created. At each stage, the design was pre-visualized using computer-aided 3D rendering, which allowed a very detailed simulation of the "collapsing" structure to be viewed from any angle. This level of precise control allowed micro-adjustments to be made to the one millimeter wide "beams" as needed.
Ultimately, the client chose something from the more ordered end of the "collapse spectrum" as a starting point, and we added several intentional "errors" and other small details to the overall shape and beam placement.
From a technological standpoint, the idea of using mass production techniques to produce a single pair of objects that could not readily be replicated seemed intriguing. To that end, we worked to make design decisions which intentionally prevented the cuff links from being easily duplicated. The textures on the beams are actually the unique growth patterns from the rapid prototyping process, and the hand-set stones were carefully caged inside the cast form by laser-welding the cages shut after setting.
Rapid prototyped, lost-wax cast and laser-welded 18k yellow gold and topaz.
Captain Smashy, 2008.
In order to gain access to the nearly $50,000 worth of specialty equipment, and the skills needed to operate those machines effectively, five freelance specialists from the jewelry and rapid prototyping industries were directly involved in the creation of these 16x16mm square cuff links.