Anna Reikher: Intricate Nature-Inspired 3D Printed Rings
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Anna Reikher is an Italian jewelry artist who creates incredibly detailed 3D printed jewelry, including rings and earrings. Having been impressed by her work, we spoke to her in more detail about her stunning 3D printed rings, how nature — and particularly frogs — inspires her, and how she got into the 3D printing industry.
How did you first develop an interest in art? And what took you from that interest in art and into 3D printing?
My passion for art and painting in particular started during early childhood. I used to move and change where I live a lot with my family, and switched from different languages and mentalities when I was a child and teenager: I was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, then moved to Italy where I currently live and raise my child. My parents are also from different origins, so I never felt tied to one nationality. I understood that it’s all relative to who you are, what lifestyle you have, and the culture you live in.
Art reinforced my understanding of this and helped me transcend these boundaries. In this way I acquired different artistic traditions from various cultures, without being bound to a specific one. This gave a major freedom to my creativity.
I gradually developed interest to 3D printing after I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan as a 3D artist. I started working for a high-end audio product manufacturer, V-MODA, using jewel grade 3D printed designs for the first time ever in consumer electronics to customize headphones, earphones and speakers.
How did you come to realize you had a passion for creating jewelry in particular? And how does 3D printing help with this in ways that other technologies perhaps couldn’t?
During that time I worked closely with Shapeways, the largest 3D printing service and community online, learning about the 3D printing processes and guidelines and working on various projects and collaborations with famous brands including Microsoft and artists including AVICII.
After visiting Shapeways factory at Eindhoven, Netherlands in 2017, I realized that the design possibilities that 3D printing offered were limitless. I was doing a lot of experiments with materials at that time, ranging from nylon, stainless steel and precious metals, gradually developing a passion for jewelry.
3D printing was the perfect match to create my own unique jewelry designs, being able to realize complex shapes and fine details that would be impossible to achieve using traditional processes.
What’s your creative process for sculpting each jewelry piece? Do you have a particular 3D printer you use, or a specific technique to create each piece?
My pieces are crafted using handmade drawings and digital sculpting. I prototype my designs using PLA in my studio in Milan, and the final prototypes are 3D printed in New York in a process which combines the technology of 3D printing with the traditional lost wax casting technique, developed by humans thousands of years ago.
The materials that I use for my jewelry range from sterling silver, brass, gold, and gold plated brass. After the 3D printing process is done the pieces are carefully cleaned and polished by hand.
Much of your jewelry focuses on nature, with many of your pieces featuring animals such as frogs. What inspired your love of nature?
Art for me it is an opportunity to connect with nature and celebrate life. It’s much like a meditation. Nature is the perfect place where to find peace and concentration. The more I spend time in nature, the more I understand that I’m not separate from it, and the more creative I become.
All of my jewelry pieces tell stories that reflect my experiences and the things I love. I also include frogs in my work. I’m fascinated by their anatomy — which is very human-like — and lets me easily manipulate and position them in often surreal compositions.
I also see frogs as a symbol of change and free spirit. Being naturally flexible creatures that jump from place to place, frogs adapt themselves to new challenges and spend their life in constant movement. Just like my characters, I try to avoid situations that tie me up and make me feel trapped, and need to let my spirit be free in order to boost my creativity.
Do you have any upcoming and exciting projects you’d like to tell our readers about? Any new jewelry designs or other projects?
I’m excited to be able to design my own jewelry, it really feels like a whole new field. Soon I will be releasing a few new designs dedicated to botanical and organic compositions, as I look forward to further expanding in 2020.