The New Genre Media Initiative in Art and Design discussed below with respect to jewelry also is used by faculty and students involved in sculpture, furniture, fiber arts and other works. In addition to enhancing design and construction work, the project has made it possible for students to design interactive art works, and has led to new ways of using technology to teach art and design.
By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services
|Professor of Art Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski shows off her platinum and gold necklace designed and produced with the aid of computers. Jewelry by Sato-Pijanowski and Nicole DesChamps, adjunct professor of art, is on display through Nov. 5 in the deans office at the School of Art & Design. Photo by Bob Kalmbach|
While the lab is still equipped with hacksaws, tweezers, scissors, vises, torches, files and goggles, computers have become an additional tool for the artists and artisans.
This offers our students the opportunity to gain more skills and promotes creative thinking.
The use of new software allows three-dimensional freeform solid modeling, and automated fabrication of prototype models with high fidelity, precision, smooth surfaces and fine features. Using such technological tools, students of the School are more prepared to enter the highly competitive worldwide jewelry market where design creativity, time-to-market, conservation of precious metals, product cost, and profitability are major issues.
Computer Aided Design software can produce solid modeling that determines volumes trapped within surfaces, thereby generating information that a fabrication machine can understand or translate through the mathematical design data. Computer Aided Manufacturing creates prototypes via Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (RP&M) using a subtractive method that removes raw stock material until only the designed object remains or through additive methods, depositing layers of material to achieve the desired shape.
While other universities are using computers for design, they have not really been creating with RP&M machines, says Sato-Pijanowski. Now others are getting on to it.
To help other instructors and institutions, Sato-Pijanowski and DesChamps have produced a publication, Looking to the Future: Digital Technologies for Jewelry Design and Metalwork, that evaluates three methods for producing jewelry prototypes. Profits from the publications sale go to U-Ms Jewelry Design Department at the School of Art & Design, a department that needs more computers and is willing to take another units cast-offs.
The incorporation of computer technology into the jewelry and metal design process seems to have attracted more students to the program. It has been very alive these past couple of years, Sato-Pijanowski says. We used to have about 80 students in two terms, but now have 150. Students want tools and skills that will influence their future avenues to finding jobs.
The Smithsonian Institution has a collection of Sato-Pijanowskis work, and the two professors are considering donating a piece of digital work to the Institutions collection.