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Forevermark - Gareth Pugh 'Promises' Part 2
British fashion designer Gareth Pugh has revealed his thoughts on the inspiration behind his design and the journey he embarked upon to learn about the unique promise inscribed on every Forevermark diamond.
3T RPD's additive manufacturing technology has been instrumental in the creation of a truly show-stopping piece.
Forevermark, part of the world-leading diamond company De Beers, approached 3T to produce parts for a stunning necklace in stainless steel using their metal additive manufacturing systems.
The final design was made up of 25 major parts and a further 98 smaller components to hold each Forevermark diamond in place. The requirements were reviewed by 3T's CAD specialists who recommended one minor revision on the hinge design in order to make the parts more conducive to the metal additive manufacturing process and added the necessary build supports.
The major elements of the piece were built on a M280 EOSINT DMLS metal additive manufacturing machine with minimal support structures as they were built directly on to the build plate. The neck pieces, which had a curved profile had build supports added by 3T and, following manufacture, required work from the 3T workshop team to remove the build supports. All but one part, the titanium pin to close the piece, were built in 316L Stainless Steel. The stainless steel pieces were created in three builds on three platforms taking a total of 24 hours. The titanium pin was built in Ti6Al4V on a separate platform and took one hour to build.
Working to tight deadlines, the pieces were finished on time and were delivered to the polisher prior to setting.
The final piece features 98 Forevermark diamonds set against the highly polished stainless steel work which has been set with pavé diamonds. It took six months to come to fruition and has now been launched to critical acclaim in Hong Kong. It is now completing a world tour of prestigious fashion and art events.
Speaking about the project, Anna Gorham, Head of PR for Forevermark said: "This project took Forevermark into new technology and new materials. 3T worked closely with us so that we could understand and get the best out of working with this revolutionary manufacturing process. We imposed very tight deadlines on them and they met them all – meaning we could keep the project on track."
Fashion designer Gareth Pugh reveals his inspiration
Having announced his collaboration with Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group, British fashion designer Gareth Pugh has added his thoughts on the inspiration behind his design and the journey he embarked upon to learn about the unique promise inscribed on every Forevermark diamond.
As part of the 2013 Forevermark Promise campaign, Gareth undertook designing his first piece of diamond jewellery, inspired by Forevermark's promise of beauty, rarity and responsible sourcing.
To learn more about the Forevermark promise, Gareth travelled to Southern Africa, visiting Orapa, one of the few authorised Forevermark diamond mines, learning about the environmental and conservation projects hosted there. He also paid a visit to the Orapa mine hospital. Originally built for the 2,000 employees of the mine, it now serves over 64,000 people from local communities within a 600 km radius thanks to the advanced services and facilities it houses.
Gareth then travelled to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, to witness the skill of the diamond sorters based at DTC Botswana, the world's largest and most technically advanced diamond sorting centre. There, the careful selection process for Forevermark diamonds was made apparent with less than one per cent being eligible for the Forevermark inscription.
From seeing and handling rough diamonds, Gareth then witnessed their transformation into beautiful polished gems at an Authorised Forevermark Diamantaires cutting and polishing factory. Here technology meets age-old techniques and skill as master craftsmen carefully hand polish each and every stone, ensuring the finish is the most precise it can be, unleashing the full brilliance of each diamond.
Pugh described how this stage of the experience particularly contributed to his neck piece design: "The design process began earlier this year during a trip to Orapa diamond mine in Botswana, where I came to understand the incredible story behind each Forevermark diamond. One part of the operation that I found particularly compelling was the alliance between age-old craft and advanced technology and I knew immediately that I wanted that relationship to be part of the story of this piece."
Following this creative path, Gareth developed the idea of working with a unique set of contradictions: "The design was brought into existence in a most innovative way; utilising the power of technology - through digital body-mapping and 3D printing - combined with the knowledge and authority of experienced craftsmanship."
Further to this, the paradoxes continue with natural and untreated Forevermark diamonds, billions of years old set within a stainless steel base, built using completely new technology. He explained: "The inspiration behind the neck piece comes from my idea of what a promise is; an unbreakable bond. Bringing it back to Forevermark, it's about the reciprocal relationship that they have with the communities they support – it's not about taking - it's about giving something back."