I got into designing jewelry with 3D modeling software and 3D printing services almost 3 years ago now. Four years ago, I'd have never guessed this would be a big hobby for me. When I first started tinkering with these 3D printing services like Shapeways, I was designing a lot of different things. I designed vases and toys and prototypes of products for people. I did try a ring and a pendant. They proved to be popular so I slowly gravitated towards jewelry.
At that time, I was going through a time of introspection. My wife was pregnant with twins and I was reevaluating a lot of things about my life. My Dad was also working on a very extensive genealogy of our family at that same time, and that also gave me a better appreciation for my heritage. I've always had an artistic streak, but this combination of discovering this amazing new technology, plus understanding my heritage, plus feeling like I actually had something to share really combined to put me on this artistic path.
The first design I wanted to feature is this Celtic Knot Leaf necklace. The leaf is a symbol of renewal, or growth. To me it pretty well summarizes this time of my life really well. I feel it represents my spiritual renewal, and the re-engagement with this artistic side that was dormant for so long.
I got the idea to design a Leaf Celtic knot after I had designed a Tree of Life. The symbolism of the Tree of Life is that were are all part of something bigger, or the same "tree". The leaves of the tree kind of represent us, and the cycle of birth (Spring), life (Summer), aging (Fall) and death (Winter). Because I felt the leaf was such an integral part of this symbolism I wanted to make one. I wanted it to be something simple, but also totally original. I sat down and first tried to figure out what shape I wanted to do. A maple or oak leaf seemed interesting but I wanted something simpler. I went with a very basic round leaf. It has two interconnected loops, one of which is an infinity knot. This knot represents our connection to God. The other knot contains the stem of the leaf, which represents our connection to Earth. I'm very happy with how the two turned out together.