Computer Aided Design, or CAD, is currently a popular method for making custom rings.  The computer makes it easy to generate exceedingly elaborate rings with lots of small detail that not long ago would have been very difficult to achieve.

Our society is fascinated with what the computer can do.  So it’s no surprise that the CAD process appeals to people looking for custom rings. As a bench jewelry with over 40 years’ experience making rings, I have a different point of view.

When I started making jewelry in 1970 in San Francisco, there were no computers. Jewelry had to be made by one of two methods: direct fabrication in metal, or the lost wax method.  I tried both and found the wax method unappealing.  The was something about wax that I didn’t like, or rather left me cold. Wax work is its own medium, because wax is different from metal in what it shows, or rather doesn’t show. Wax work very efficient in cost and time, but frankly, it does not interest me as an artist.

The images below are examples of CAD design.  Because the process is so easy, there is a tendency to make very elaborate designs–in my view, overly elaborate.  But that’s a question of taste.  These designs, to me, have no soul because they have no trace of the human hand.  This ring is mathematically perfect, but without feeling or sentiment.  It screams “machine,” not “I love you.”  Still, a question of taste.  Give it some thought.

CAD design engagement ring

And here is an example of Micro Pave CAD design

CAD Micro Pave

CAD Micro Pave

The stones in this design are very small, and the prongs that hold these stones are tiny.  Do you imagine that this ring is going to hold up over the years?