Jan 2, 2016 | By Kira

As we enter the New Year, it can be easy to look back on 2015 and focus only on the mistakes we’ve made, or criticize ourselves for not achieving certain goals, be they material, financial or purely psychological. However, Melissa Ng, 3D designer and founder of 3D printed fantasy-inspired wearables shop Lumecluster, has instead taken the opportunity to look back on the important personal lessons she’s learned this year, and how her quest for inner solitude and creativity led her to create a series of lovely 3D printed jewelry pieces.

Based on her past work, which includes these fantastic 3D printed metallic masks, the 3D printed ‘dreamer/nightmare’ mask, and a collaboration on this artistic and functional 3D printed prosthetic leg, you’d think that the New York-based artist is immune to creative slumps or nagging self-doubt. However, as she revealed in her Year in Review blog post, everyone—herself included—eventually hits a rut, and the only solution is to turn your focus inwards and build confidence from the inside out.

“For years, my confidence was dependent on external approval and other people’s opinions, which meant I crumbled the moment I stopped receiving it,” she admitted. “So, 2015 was my year I was determined to change that.” Bravely shedding aside her self-doubt and uncertainty, Ng found inspiration in Susan Cain’s TED speech and book on The Power of Introverts, which teaches that solitude is a crucial ingredient to inner strength and creativity.

Melissa Ng, 3D designer and founder of Lumecluster

Channeling this inspirational message, Ng turned to 3D modeling and 3D printing to create a new addition for her collection of gorgeous, fantastical masks. Titled Solitude & Innovation, the mask is available as a pendent and a bracelet via her Lumecluster shop.

“As someone who frequently gets lost in negative though, creating this helped anchor me back to reality,” she wrote. “[The pendant and bracelet] quickly remind me to reclaim my solitude and to pause, breathe, and think in those moments when my thoughts become panicked, frustrated or stressed.”

In order to create the design, Ng modeled it using 3D software before 3D printing in wax. A liquid plaster was poured over the 3D printed model to create a mold, which is then used to cast the final piece of jewelry in either silver or brass before it is polished. Finally, the words “Solitude” and “Innovation” are engraved into the back in order to share the wisdom that Ng herself learned through trial and error. The Solitude & Innovation pendant and bracelet (which include either a metal chain or leather strap, respectively) are made-to-order and available for $148 each.

In addition to sharing the inspirational lesson behind her 3D printed jewelry, Ng also took marked the occasion of her Year in Review to record the most important personal lessons she’s learned as a creative designer this year. These include not limiting yourself to specific labels; diversifying your projects and explorations; and never giving up until you’ve tried. Based on her extraordinarily creative and beautifully crafted work, it seems like advice that is well worth listening to.

Of course, the coming of the New Year is much about looking back on the past as it is about looking forward to the future. For 2016, Melissa Ng is already hard at work on the 3D printed Dreamer Regalia Armor dress, a fierce-looking piece of body armor she is designing and producing in collaboration with actress Felicia Day and 3D print group Shapeways. Ng has said that this is one of the most challenging pieces she’s ever worked on, but as she’s learned through her own life lessons, “success only comes to those who don’t give up trying again and again.” We can’t wait to see the final results of her dedication in the coming months.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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