The Process of Designing Bow to the Bee
In 2020, during covid, I was inspired by the bees to create a jewelry line. In college, I started a jewelry business and was well versed with how to make jewelry, however, this time I wanted to custom design the bee jewelry. I bought a 3D printer, taught myself blender (3D rendering program), and started to create the designs.
My grandmother, Posy Chisolm Feick, always wore diamond bee pins and I had one of her pendants. I loved the balance between masculine and feminine within the pendant and started to use it as inspiration for the design. Hundreds of designs later, I came to the perfect bee.
A bee for everyone to love and wear. May we enjoy the luck, magic and wisdom the bees bring.
Proceeds from Bow to the Bee go to support Regenerative Agriculture which preserves the habitat of bees and our environment.
Step 1. Design the Bee
I am the founder of Roomhints and also an interior designer. On Roomhints, customers can view their space in 3D, working with the 3D technology daily I had a brief understanding of how to make 3D models. However, a bee jewelry pendant is much smaller than a bathtub or a sofa. I taught myself how to make 3D models that I could export to an .stl file and print on my 3D printer.
Collecting inspiration from existing bee jewelry, my grandmother collection, and other insect jewelry. I wanted the bee to be a balance between feminine and masculine attributes. I found a lot of the bee designs online to have the wings above the body and to me this looks more feminine.
Spent 8 months finalizing the design.
Step 2. 3D Printing Prototypes
Well, it's one thing to design a bee online in 3D - but how will the bee and its proportions look when printed or cast in gold?
I bought a resin 3D printer and converted the files to print on a 3D printer. From printing, I realized the sizing for the wings was way off! Switched it up and finalized the design to one that I love.
A lot of the prints didn't work out (😂 )
Step 3. Casting in Silver & Gold
This step I do not do in my studio. I found a wonderful jeweler in Colorado who casts all the items in pure recycled gold and silver. If you are curious about casting here is a great video.
Step 4. Putting the Jewelry Together
For the bracelets and necklaces, I sourced all the chains from suppliers in the United States. This process took some time to find good quality chains. To put the necklaces together, I want these necklaces to last, so I solder all the jump rings and clasps.
I was very very new to soldering. After watching some videos on YouTube I gave it a try. A lot of the jewels oxidized or just did not solder right.
I realized I should take a class here. 1. Using a giant flame is not the safest and 2. metals can be toxic when soldering and want to make sure I am really doing this right.
Took a class at Silver Peak Studio and learned the best practices.
Step 5. Sticking with the Final Design
For me this is always the hardest part. I constantly want to create new designs, new styles but you always have to start somewhere and can change/modify from there.