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The Art of 3-D Printed Jewelry

A young Brooklyn couple’s cosmically-inspired accessories hit the MoMA Design Store

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Have you ever looked at a solar flare and thought to yourself, Wow, that would make a great piece of jewelry? While you probably haven’t, Svetlana Briscella has, and now she’s sharing that vision with the world. This month, jewelry—earrings, rings and a necklace—with a solar flare-inspired whorl made by the New York City resident and her husband John went on sale as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store and its Destination: Design NYC collection.

“We take the scientific and work [with it] like a sculptor,” says the Russian-born Svetlana. The couple met in Vienna where she was studying industrial design and he was doing graduate work in urban strategies (he already had a B.A. in industrial design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia).They moved to the States a few years ago and started Aminimal Studio, a name that embodies their interest in producing work with “the most minimal effort.” Based in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn, their first venture was the Urban Gridded Collection in which they used a chemically etching process to incise quarter-sized stainless steel discs with small-scale city maps. The MoMA store carries only their Central Park and Lower Manhattan designs, but the Briscellas have captured more than 100 cities, from Indianapolis to Istanbul, this way. They want people to enjoy each piece on a variety of levels: aesthetic, tactile, geographic, historic and emotional.

About the solar flares, Svetlana had seen images of the eruptions regularly taking place on the sun and was struck by their grace and beauty. Using 3-D software, she and John took the images and played with them until they isolated and emphasized spirals that they liked. The Briscellas then found Shapeways, a local company that uses 3-D printers to produce the couple’s strong, colorful, lightweight nylon accessories. “We find what inspires us,” Svetlana says when asked what guides Aminimal’s work, and when you hold one of their pieces in your hand and think about the fusion of science and imagination, of the earthly and the celestial, of the eternal and the cutting-edge that went into it, you’ll feel inspired, too.