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Re: [Orchid] Why CAD is it needed in our classes?
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P AT Saturday, January 19, 2013
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    Okay, so Im going to take a stab at this... keep in mind, I have a
    glass of the finest vodka and lemonciello (made by our very own Lisa
    Bilac-Jehle) on the planet, in my hand.....Thanks Lisa!! you ^*$#

    Why CAD is needed in our classes. well, to be honest, its a matter
    of personal interest. and almost necessity for today's generation.... 

    Lets look at our current artists and their endeavors. In addition to
    the mindset, skill set and technological influence of the next
    generation of artists/jewelers. 

    Ill be hitting 40 years of age in 6 days, I have been making jewelry
    for 25 years. I'm "that" generation caught in the middle, being
    trained as a traditional southwest silversmith, I do have
    appreciation, respect, and still use for those "old world" skills of
    hand fabrication. In addition, served a very brief apprenticeship
    under a master machinist off the boat from Poland. I have been using
    "CAD" in some form or another for the past 20 years. Granted I'm not
    using the super tech versions of Rhino, or GemVision (although I am
    determined to learn Rhino, and recently purchased version 5) I am
    using a stupid simple version 9 of Corel Draw for most of my work
    (Version 16 is the current version). Part of my interest comes from
    the materials I work with, Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Zirconium. 

    These are materials that, in most cases cannot be worked in a
    traditional "goldsmith/silversmith" fashion. Hence, CAD and CAM are
    pretty much a necessity to do what I consider "fine jewelry"or"fine

    Those of you demanding works created via CAD/CAM, here are a couple
    of examples....

    You will notice in some of the examples, the clean, smooth flowing
    lines created via CAD, that look like they were hand wrought, and
    implemented via CAM (computer aided machining), and others very
    ridged, crisp interpolations of the concept and execution. Yet all
    these pieces have those skill sets of hand finishing and hand
    working, much like smiths of old... 

    Yes, there is a percentage of the population that appreciates the
    traditional hand fabrication techniques, sweat, blood and tears,
    that go into each and every piece made by an artist. I truly applaud
    those individuals, because it provides individuals like James, Lisa,
    Noel, Leonid, and others the ability to do what they do for a living.
    Yet, there is another percentage of the population that appreciates
    the final product in its purest form that do not care how it was
    created. They look at the final piece purely for what it is and do
    not want to know it was designed on a quad core i7 processor with 32G
    of RAM being viewed on dual 32" displays, being cut on a Hass CNC 4
    axis machining center... 

    Then there are those that are "reviving" the old traditional ways. A
    good friend of mine is starting to melt coin silver via charcoal and
    bellows to prep for tufa casting (please google tufa casting if you
    dont know what that is). Hand carving designs into volcanic ash and
    producing "fine jewelry"and"fine art". Granted we are both
    "established" artists and have the privilege to explore, does not
    negate what is ahead of us..... 

    Today's "youth" have technology at their finger tips. Generation AO
    (always online) is fluent, or can be, in almost every electronic
    media available, including design software. This is a generation that
    has grown up, not knowing what an answering machine is, nor what life
    is like without the internet. Granted, I can rant and rave about
    having the bench skills and baseline knowledge base behind them, but
    for those that swim with ease in this electronic media, kudos!!! They
    do not know what "cant" be done, they only see their vision and have
    the tools (CAD/CAM) to create their vision in its entirety, with
    outsourcing, 3D print labs and contractual casting, they can achieve
    their vision. They do not have the time, ability, or interest to
    pursue what a lot of us have had in the form of apprenticeships and
    schooling, and why would they. Having powerful, and inexpensive
    hardware/software at their fingertips allows them to achieve their
    vision in a straight line... point A to point B without the hassle of
    having to know what cant be done. I truly applaud them for having
    that ability to just not care.... 

    In the be all end all, CAD is here to stay, it is not just a tool,
    but an extension of our expression and a means to achieve what we
    envision. So, yes, it is an option, and a very easy technical
    endeavor for the next generation of
    designers/smiths/artists/jewelers/metalsmiths/fabricators to embark
    on because that is what, and all they know. So yes, CAD must be
    taught, but it should be the choice of the individual to embark on
    that path. 

    I sometimes wish all of us that have been taught or learned
    traditionally, did not have the drawbacks of limitation. just imagine
    what we could produce if our minds were free.... 


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