Marie Lefebvre of L’Atelier Cayelle regularly leaves us speechless with her gorgeous geometric jewelry designs. The Melbourne-based, French-bred furniture design student and self-described “3D printing addict” has turned a background in advertising and a love for “graphic design, geometric shapes, and storytelling” into a collection of stunningly simple, powerful pieces.
After we fell for her perfectly minimalist designs, we decided to dig a little deeper to discover what led her to moonlight as a jewelry designer.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
My furniture design studies. Prototyping for furniture design is what first brought me to 3D printing. Once I’d started, I realized that I enjoyed the process and the results when printing in metal. That’s when I started creating jewelry in my free time.
What was the most difficult challenge for you when delving into 3d modeling?
The biggest challenge was to learn the 3D modeling program, but there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube, and it’s pretty easy to look for answers.
Tell us a bit more about that segue from 3D modeling furniture to working on jewelry.
I’ve always loved jewelry, but have always thought that I would never have the skills to create it. When I was studying furniture design at RMIT, they gave us an assignment on 3D modeling jewelry for rapid prototyping. Then I discovered that, while I might not have the classic skills for jewelry-making, there were other options out there. Since that assignment, I’ve never stopped designing jewelry – especially rings.
Do you have a typical prototyping process?
Usually I design a ring, then redesign it in 10 variations, just to be sure that I’ve tried all the options. Then, I leave it on my computer for a while. After some time has passed, I’ll revisit it, and if I still like what I see, then I’ll upload it. If I feel like wearing it or offering it to a friend, I’ll then order it – First in plastic if it’s a completely new design, or straightaway in metal if it is a design that follows some established rules (e.g. thickness), and I can be sure of the result.
The collar stays you’ve designed are so sweet. What’s the story behind them?
They were actually for my ex-boyfriend (hahaha, yes, it happens), who was always complaining about his plastic collar stays, so I thought I would design some personalized ones for him. He really liked them — and is still wearing them today. This led me to think that these could be nice products, so I designed a few different versions with different messages on them. I think I might have 10 other versions on my computer.
What inspires your ring designs?
I design rings that I want to wear, so what inspires the design is mostly my mood, what I am surrounded by, and other projects I’m working on. The Warrior Collection, for example, was designed when a lot of women around me went through tough times. I was astonished by their power to stand up, whatever was happening, and fight for themselves. The Warrior rings are a graphic representation of the inner warrior we all have. I want them to be a constant reminder to anyone who wears them that we are stronger than we think.
That’s lovely. Speaking of rings, the Space Ring is a beautiful play on words and shapes. How did that come about?
The space ring was one of my first designs. It’s a really simple idea, using a space bar shape, and the space bar is not centered on the ring. I also love the idea that Shapeways offers personalization on it. I want people to feel like the products are theirs, and I love the idea that they also can pick a material. I’m not really pushing or promoting my shop, and I love the fact that a few people own my design and they are the only ones to own that combination (design plus material).
Marie is yet another wonderful example of a designer inspired to create jewelry for the first time thanks to 3D printing. We’re glad she did, because we’re huge fans of her work. To discover more of Shapeways’ incredible, unique jewelry designers, follow our new Style x Shapeways Instagram. And for more of Marie’s work, visit her Shapeways shop or ateliercayelle.com.