Creating 3D printed jewellery with Melissa Borrell

When consumers are looking to purchase gifts, they want products that are different and on trend and jewellery can be created in a way that no two items are the same.

Unfortunately jewellery can be easy to replicate, so designers want to ensure their works are indeed unique by using different techniques and processes.

This is what US based designer Melissa Borrell has done for her latest range Fusion, which is a new line of 3D printed jewellery. Utilising modern technology, she has created lightweight, unique and bold designs.

The innovative collection was launched at NY NOW in August and takes advantage of the unique properties of modern additive fabrication techniques. Using technology the same way a painter uses a paintbrush, Borrell says she creates new and surprising designs that push the boundaries of what is possible.

“The designs appeal to design-oriented, art-loving individuals with an appreciation for the unexpected,” she adds.

“People love my designs because they are lightweight, innovative, fun, different and easy to wear.  Many of my clients tell me that they wear my jewellery every day―they are so lightweight it is hard to go back to wearing other jewellery.”

Borrell’s pop-out jewellery range was launched in 2006, however, it is still a great seller for her.

“My work is unique because the wearer has a hand in creating it―with the Pop-Out collection the wearer not only finishes the jewellery by twisting it out of the card and hanging it on the chain or ear hooks, but also gets to decide in what orientation to wear the shapes and can also layer them with other shapes or colours to create a different look. 

“In the Fusion and especially the Kinetic pieces within that collection many of the pieces can be worn multiple ways and when they are not being worn they look like a small sculpture.  They need to be picked up to be activated and then the kinetic and changing aspect of the piece is discovered.” 

Borrell’s background and experience in handmade metal jewellery inspires her designs and contributes to the success of the pieces, she says. Each element is carefully considered down to the claps and earring hooks so that the resulting pieces are not only sculpturally successful but also comfortable and flattering to wear.

The new line contains necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and pendants. Notably, several pieces are kinetic.

“This shape-shifting group includes a pendant that can be worn two ways, bracelets that double as pendants and necklaces that can be worn multiple ways depending on your mood.  Drawing from the unique sculptural aesthetic, the pieces break the mould of what you expect jewellery to be,” she adds. 

Borrell’s practice has evolved to include sculpture and installations that explore many of the same concepts that are evident in her sculptural jewellery work. She creates sculptures and installations that integrate light, shadow and movement into space-transforming artworks as she continues to evolve incorporating new concepts and technologies into her art.

“The best advice I've ever received was to follow my passion. I believe that any business is feasible if you are passionate about it, good at what you do and make a plan to get your goods and services in front of the right people.” 

A portion of the profits from Melissa Borrell Design supports young girls' education in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.