Apr 5, 2017 | By Benedict
Justyna Stasiewicz is performing a rare balancing act. Despite currently studying for a PhD, the Polish designer runs her own 3D printed jewelry company, Stasiewicz Jewelry. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she has also recently been involved with the Open BioMedical Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to producing and distributing open source 3D printable prostheses for those in need. After hearing about her (many) activities through Open BioMedical’s Valentino Megale, we got in touch with the talented designer to talk 3D printed jewelry, 3D printed prostheses, and Couchsurfing.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Justyna Stasiewicz and I come from Koszalin, a small town in the north of Poland. Currently, I live and work in Łódź (1.5 hours away from Warsaw). I am in the third year of PhD studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz. At the same time, I teach students on extramural studies to design jewelry in a 3D program. I am an active artist—every year I take part in numerous exhibitions and jewelry contests. What is more, I run my own company (Stasiewicz Jewelry) and blog where I write about jewelry both in Polish and English.
3D printed jewelry seems to be really taking off at the moment—when and how did you get into the field?
I had my first contact with 3D design during my studies. For the past six years I have been constantly expanding my knowledge on this subject. If you use new technologies in your creative work, it is very important not to settle for what you know and quickly learn whatever new appears. One program is often not enough to fully show your capabilities, or it would take too much time.
Has the Polish and Eastern European market been receptive to your 3D printed jewelry, or do you consider your work more of an international project?
I am open to both: Polish and international markets. So far it is hard for me to assess how much the Polish market is prepared for my jewelry, because my company opened half a year ago. Thus, I am at the beginning of my journey in the land of luxury goods.
I often come across the belief that jewelry made by a machine can’t be unique. I totally disagree. If we didn’t move with the times and didn’t use what technological advances offer, we would still be in the Stone Age! Progress is necessary. 3D printing is first and foremost a tool—whether the project created with its help will be good depends primarily on what skills and knowledge a person using the program has.
You’ve been active in some contrasting areas of 3D printing, from 3D printed jewelry to 3D printed prostheses. How did you end up on these parallel paths?
My adventure with the Open BioMedical Initiative started by chance. My great passion is traveling, so I often use a portal called Couchsurfing. When I can’t travel, I use the portal to help people who visit Lodz. That's how I met Valentino Megale, who is one of the founders of the Open BioMedical Initiative. He told me about what his organization was doing—it turned out that we were working in the same 3D programs and that their project would need a woman's touch. I really liked the idea that I could actually improve the comfort of someone's life by using my skills. And because their previous project, Will, hadn’t been finished, I proposed that I would design a new hand for them.
Could you tell us a bit more about the TINA prosthetic hand and your work with the Open BioMedical Initiative? (And did your experience creating rings and bracelets come in handy when making a prosthetic hand?)
TINA is a prosthetic hand, which was supposed to be not only functional but also pleasing to the eye. The first prototype was printed here, in Poland, on my boyfriend's printer. The Open BioMedical Initiative provided me with information on the proportions of the hand and technical specifications that determined how much space I had to leave for the components to keep the hand mobile.
The project was a lot of fun, because it required the same precision that accompanies me every day when working with jewelry. It turned out that the skills I’d gained as a jewelry designer were great for a prosthetic design! This an international collaboration was such a great experience—I think it has developed me a lot.
Where do you get your jewelry inspiration from? Can you describe your style in a few words?
I am strongly connected with nature, which is my main inspiration. The multitude of shapes and colors of the world that surrounds us affects me very strongly. I like the fact that nature is not only accidental, organic forms but also mathematical, complex structures.
Which 3D printers, printing materials, and 3D design software do you use—for jewelry and other projects?
I use very different materials and technologies, not limiting myself to only one. For larger, artistic works, I mostly use FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) or SLS (Selective Laser Sintering). Smaller objects are created with the use of a Polish company which prints on a Solidscape 3D printer, or via Shapeways, which gives you the opportunity to print directly in silver. All items are designed with the use of Matrix 7.0, an addition to Rhinoceros.
Different designers seem to have very different ways of going from jewelry concept to creation. Could you describe your process a little?
It depends on the project—there is no consistency in my working method. Often before I start the project I collect materials and create moodboards. Later, it varies: I either sketch or model right in the program. With more complicated forms, I usually make plastic models first. Before 3D printing, I always recalibrate the project and print it on a regular 2D printer. This allows me to judge whether the details aren’t too small. The program always makes everything seem bigger.
You selected the spectacular “Snow Queen” piece for the Baselworld Design Competition—is that a favorite work in your collection? If not, which piece(s) would fit that description?
Snow Queen is definitely one of my favorite projects. For the first time I have faced the setting of such small stones, and in this project I used as many as 50 of them. I also like a large ring from the Reef collection. It wasn’t as demanding as the Snow Queen, but the final effect surpassed my expectations.
Finally, do you have any other 3D printing projects on the horizon?
Yes, of course. All my PhD will be printed in 3D. The topic of my work is “The impact of artwork in relation to haptic aesthetics based on designer jewelry collection.” I hope I can finish working on it this year.
Justyna Stasiewicz’s jewelry website can be found here. While you’re here, why not revisit previous 3Ders interviews with fellow 3D printed jewelry designer John Robertson, Shining 3D CEO Li Tao, and post-process-free 3D printer manufacturer Rize.
Posted in Interviews
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