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Interview with the 3d Printing fractal artist unellenu
unellenu (aka Janelle Wilson) is a jewellery artist based in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been featured on Shapeways. Her jewellery is a bit different to most – she uses fractals as the inspiration for her work producing some non-trivial shapes that are sure to appeal.
Janelle’s formal studies include a Bachelor of Design at UNSW COFA, Sydney Australia and completing a jewellery apprenticeship attending Enmore Tafe. Janelle has always enjoyed designing and is constantly experimenting with new ideas and techniques. Her professional experience has largely been in jewellery including sales, management and some fine jewellery design. Janelle has also worked in graphic design for web and print.
Janelle was kind enough to be interviewed by 3D Future
Q:Lets get straight to it! Why fractals? What inspired you to use fractals so much in your work?
A: I love the visual complexity, yet overall coherence of fractal forms. Themes of repetition and transformation fascinate me.
Q: Fractals are some interesting mathematical shapes – what is your maths background?
A: Mainly the maths that I learned in high school and on the internet, also my mother has taught science and maths which has been an influence.
Q: What software programs do you use to create your work?
A: I use many different programs and processes. At this stage I don’t publish the varied techniques I use to create my generated forms. Programs that I use for some components of my work include Rhino3D, Rhinogold, Grasshopper 3D and Blender. I also find Adobe Illustrator useful for drawing lines and curves that can be imported into 3D applications and used as a starting point for creating 3D objects.
Q: I notice you use shapeways for printing – do you have a printer at home? If not what sort of printer would you aim for?
A: I don’t have my own 3D printer as yet. A printer which could achieve a high level of detail would suit me best, due to the intricacies of my work.
I enjoy using the wide variety of materials on offer at Shapeways and other professional 3D printing bureaus. Recently I had this pendant printed by Advanced Manufacturing Services in high-resolution 3D printed stainless steel.
Q: If it was red would it go faster?
A: Yes, I believe it would: both literally and perceptually
Q: How would a reader go about commissioning work from you?
A: Contact me to discuss the jewel, 3D printed design or project that you are interested in. The most recent private designs I have created have been in 18ct white gold. Communicating visually and verbally (usually through email), the design is created in consultation with the client. I have designed from very open design briefs and also from more concrete starting points.
Q: Say you were commisioned to create a pendant based on a fractalled seashell. What is the process you use and how long would it take before it would be up on your shop for people to purchase?
A: Three weeks is usually a good time frame. Some forms will be ready much sooner, and some may take longer depending on the technicalities involved.
Q: What sort of feedback do you get from the public that is unique to your work?
A: I often get positive comments on pieces that I am wearing from passers-by ‘Love your pendant…is that a fractal?’
Q: What is your favourite piece and why?
A: Winglink from the Ammonite Range, has the detail and unity that is characteristic of much of my work. It is a very wearable pendant and is available in 3D printed metal options on Shapeways.
I have also created a short animation of this design on Youtube.
A variation of this design in sterling silver, with 18ct yellow gold and a star sapphire is also available.
Q: What are the limitations of the software and 3d printers that you see?
A: I tend to see things less in terms of limitation, and more in terms of possibilities, with many new options in terms of materials, detail, scale and durability of printable items. A wide variety of new apps and 3D modelling software will continue to emerge. Also the way that people interact with software evolves, with more intuitive options becoming available.
Q: What sort of future do you see for 3D printing?
A: 3D printing will see an increasing number of home users, and an explosion of its prevalence in many industries.
Q: Thanks very much Janelle
A: You’re very welcome, thank you for the interview.
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