Wednesday, December 3, 2014


3-D Printed Triangular Magenta Nylon
Bangle Bracelet and Orange Nylon
Hexagonal Ring
Bordered by Algeria and Guinea is the African country Mali.  Often referred to as the “Jewel of West Africa’s Crown,” the French-speaking locale is believed to have established the world’s first universities.

Africa is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Theresa Burger.

In some cases many independent jewelry designers seem to be doing the same thing . . . in almost the exact same way!

Bar necklaces, nameplates and initial discs are prevalent in high-profile brands.  That is all well and fine but I really enjoy seeing designers who are less preoccupied with commercial appeal. 

Burger’s broad artistic vision enlists standard as well as non-standard materials.  No matter the material her style involves a level of intricacy, boldness and playfulness. 

A formally trained metalsmith who works with gold, sterling silver, and platinum, Burger also implements 3-D printing in her work with nylon.  Her nylon pieces—necklaces, rings, and bracelets—are reminiscent of jewelry worn on fashion runways.  They are exaggerated, haute and commanding.

You will find kiaat and camphor wood molded into dazzling bangle bracelets or statement earrings.  There is a wonderful play of texture courtesy of chevron patterns and vibrant hues of fuchsia, deep red or royal blue.

The 29-year-old’s creative streak was steered by her godmother in 2005 towards jewelry making.  “She knew I was creative and that I wanted to explore something in a more practical line.
3-D Printed Royal Blue Nylon Amashaza 
(Earplug) Earrings
She had just seen an exhibition of jewelry at the Cape Town University of Technology (CPUT), and she felt jewelry making would be a wonderful skill for me to learn,” recalls the award-winning, Ireland-based designer.

The enthusiastic jewelry artist earned degrees in Jewelry Design and Manufacture from CPUT.   Earlier this year she completed studies at Ireland’s National College of Art and Design where she learned 3-D printing technology. 

Since 2005 Burger has received numerous awards that include the 2012 Future Makers Student Innovation Award; and she has participated in exhibitions such as the Jewelry as Art in County Kerry, Ireland.

“Design is a definite passion of mine and I relish new aesthetic challenges. Anything and everything has the potential to inspire me.  I am inspired by nature, and craft movements like the Art Deco period. 

My most important aim when designing is functionality; jewelry has to be wearable and comfortable.  But also it becomes more valuable when we attach symbolism to it—wealth, love, etc.  That aspect really gets to me.  That jewelry can become so much more than the materials it is made of.”
3-D Printed Teal Nylon Chevron Necklace

2014 Jewelry Trend AlertOnce again costume or fashion jewelry is hot this year, and Burger’s collections of colorful 3-D printed nylon designs are on the money.
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