Randy Erickson from Richardson Jewelers started using Artcam 4 years ago. After 2 days on the ArtCAM training program he was able to make simple rings and pendants immediately after going home. Randy recalls the first year that Richardson Jewelers had the program:
...our custom jewellery increased 100%. Each year, we have followed the same trend to an increase of 700-800% as of right now, in our 4th year."
Richardson Jewelers distinguish themselves in the marketplace by offering a unique design service "if we don't have what you want, we will design it WITH you." With no prior CAD experience Randy was amazed to see how easy the program was to use.
This year Richardson Jewelery entered into the yearly Michagan Jewellery Design contest with an Ametrine Necklace worth over $2500. Quick to produce "Ametrine Elegance" won 1st place in the CAD division of the competition.
Initially the piece was inspired by a beautifully cut Ametrine stone that Randy wanted to frame. Creating the back first, he mimicked the design cut into the stone itself. It was a rectangle plate with areas left open for 3mm hollow tubing to be lasered to it. From there, a simple design was created for the front of the piece. The main frame around the stone was accented with beautiful pave' set diamonds, with arcs of complimentary colours pave' set to steady the centre stone.
Scanning the Ametrine stone Randy was able to trace it and bring the image into the 2D view of ArtCAM. This allowed him to see where the tubes would run through the centre stone for setting. Bezels were then created in order to laser into the tubes on the top and bottom as well as to set the centre stone. Once the pieces were cast, they were cleaned and polished and the stones in the front panel were set.
Each bezel was lasered to a 3mm tube cut to the actual size and the stones were set into them. The next step was to assemble it so that the centre stone was tension set into the mounting with the tension coming from the tubes. The tubes were then laser welded to the top and bottom of the face plate, after which, the distance required to give the culet enough clearance in the back was measured and the tubes lasered to the back plate. Tubes were then run through the centre stone and pulled through the back plate to give them enough tension to hold the stone in place. With the correct tension, they were held in place as each one was lasered into place. After cleaning the piece was the ready to enter the competition.
Randy believes that:
It really has been a life changing experience from the standpoint of falling in love with creating jewellery. There once was a time when I could see in my mind, a piece I would like to create....but I was unable to because I am not an advanced wax carver. With ArtCAM, there hasn't been anything that I could dream up, that I could not create.
The fact that I can cut a wax while I'm working on my next design means that I can create more pieces and make more money for the company. ArtCam's service has been outstanding with their resellers help at a moments notice if I ever need it.....and with the new features being added each year, it just continues to get better."