Fresh from New Hampshire’s first snowfall of the season and a week before Thanksgiving, the last NHIA Digital Design & 3D Printing for Jewelry workshop begins with holiday spirit through Christmas carols. “I love Christmas music!” Alexandria Matossian says enthusiastically as she enters New Hampshire Institute of Art’s finishing room. Before long, Christmas music is playing in the background as Ali passes out cast pieces of the students’ jewelry designs created back in October. The sights and sounds in the room as they busily get to work carry the perfect aesthetic for the holidays, like Santa’s workshop.

“There’s something therapeutic about working on the bench.” – Alexandria Matossian

Throughout the last day, the group marveled over each other’s jewelry, now cast in metal by Alan W Levitt.

“Look at that detail!”

“Loving it!”

“Does it fit?” “Yeah, it does!”

“Are these too heavy for earrings?” “They’re not bad.” “You can always make them into pendants.”

“I kind of like it not completely polished, but I can polish parts of it.”

A few students brought their own stones to set after filing and polishing their designs. Everyone approached the finishing process from different experience levels. No one shied away from asking or answering a question with sincerity.

It is evident how supportive the class members are of each other. As the group heads out for lunch, they discuss mistakes they made in their design and possible solutions they could make next time. They are quick to point out how many new skills they are learning from the workshop at once, such as Computer Aided Design and stone-setting. It’s a lot to take in, but having the support of the whole group, plus a professional jewelry designer like Ali and a jewelry caster like Alan W Levitt makes a big difference.

After a lunch spent bonding and discussing how the workshop has impacted their lives, it was a perfect time to introduce #StrengthInNumbers, Ali and Solidscape’s initiative to foster a jewelry community worth its weight in gold. The hashtag aims to promote creativity, inspiration, and community support among established and emerging jewelry designers, as well as promote opportunities for mentoring in person or online through workshops or livestreams.

“If you’re not exposed, how are you supposed to get excited about it and want to learn more?” – Alexandria Matossian

Alexandria Matossian’s workshop is one of the first initiatives to provide exposure to CAD and 3D printing in the local New Hampshire area. Ali hopes the class made a difference in their lives, and the students overwhelmingly affirm that it will leave a lasting impression.

The final workshop day ends on a cheery note, with everyone’s finished jewelry designs proudly on display for a photo shoot. Ali takes multiple photos, carefully posing each piece in center stage. Although it is the end of a workshop, it’s hard to be sad when so much has been learned and accomplished. Ali even jokes how amazing it is that they are putting away tools on time. “It’s awesome that we were able to finish in one day!”

Take a look at the fantastic work the students accomplished in the short amount of time below. They should all be very proud!

The Introduction to Digital Design & 3D Printing for Jewelry workshop at the New Hampshire Institute of Art ended on November 17th. NHIA is a tight-knit community of creative thinkers, artists, designers, writers, and art educators who use the power of our creativity to transform the community around us, according to James Chase. “We are so thrilled about this collaboration and this series of hands-on weekend workshops designed to introduce everyone — from the traditional jeweler with no experience using digital technology to the designer comfortable using software design tools but no experience using 3D printing technology — to the potential of this new field of digital jewelry making.”

Solidscape has been a part of digital jewelry making for over ten years. We are proud to partner with NHIA and Alexandria Matossian to help teach new skills and present cutting-edge technology to designers in New Hampshire.