Sweet As 3D Printing

Making sweet sweet jewelleryIf you look through the Ponoko showroom, you’ll notice how incredibly popular jewellery is.  Personally I don’t have any strong feelings about jewellery, but little sweet treats are something else entirely in my books.  My willpower is doing a pretty good job of keeping me from eating the chocolate covered raisins I’d been given.  Someone should make chocolate covered anvils for those lacking in self-discipline.

If designer Daniel Otten has a sweet tooth, he’s in trouble.  The Northern Illinois University MFA student makes “candy” jewellery.  The title may conjure up images of vintage candy stores full of hyperactive little children making necklaces from chocolate-covered nuts that melt all over their hands, faces and clothes.  The Everlasting Gobstopper was my first thought, and let’s face it, this candy looks like something concocted by a toddler – not the most refined gastronomic creation.

“Daniel Otten is a first generation metalsmith and a fourth generation confectioner.  The current body of work explores the intersections of these seemingly disparate traditions. The results are dysfunctional—often absurd and ephemeral—objects.

Sugar is the principle material, and is used in excess with the intent of putting your teeth on edge. This elicits a visceral reminder of a past overindulgence. The pieces melt, break, and dissolve representing the fleeting illusion from the consumption of sweets or objects of status (jewelry). “

See Daniel’s work after the jump:

The level of refinement in Daniel Otten’s candied adornments is reflective of his experience in casting, mould making and traditional metalsmithing techniques.  His transition into digital fabrication began with using his university’s Zcorp printer.  Very quickly Daniel discovered that the printer’s resolution and materials selection weren’t meeting his requirements, so he decided to try Ponoko instead, after reading about the service in Make magazine.

Now he uses 3D printing to make positives for mould forms as well as produce parts for the finished jewellery pieces.  So far he’s used durable plastic and is interested in experimenting with with sintered glass and ceramic.  Daniel also has his eye on the CandyFab project which uses caramelized sugar.  Apart from being happy with his 3D printed parts, he’s really appreciated Ponoko’s customer service, especially the checking of his models before they are printed.Daniel’s advice to other makers? “If you are interested in making objects as opposed to fussing with the tools Ponoko is a great way to go.  The results are higher quality than open-source/diy projects and better use of time and funding in my opinion.”

Candied Ring materials: Found glass, Sugar, Sterling Silver, Plastic, Red Dye 40, Artificial Flavors

Candied Bracelet (caster sugar-created from molds of Ponoko printed designs) materials: Found glass,Sugar, Sterling silver, Carnauba Wax,Confectioner’s Glaze, Red 3, May Contain traces of Milk, Eggs, Coconut, Peanuts, Wheat and Soy.


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The pink eyeball-looking ones floating in a jar remind me of Orbitz. (The chewable drink, not the travel company.)

Chewable drink? How does that work?

It was a clear soft drink that had little coloured spheres of.. something floating in it. Like bubble tea, but not tapioca.

…Sounds healthy…

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