Lasers lend these designs their cutting edge.
Parisian jeweler Lorenz Bäumer (www.lorenzbaumer.com) is not the first artist whose inspirations sometimes exceed the technical skills of even the most expert artisans. Such was the case with his concepts for the Mikado series, which features interpretations of motifs borrowed from the Murano glass doors of Venice’s Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Rather than rely on traditional casting methods to create the complex geometric forms he envisioned, Bäumer turned to a three-dimensional digital design technology widely used in the aerospace industry. Each intricate piece of jewelry begins as a solid resin model cut by laser using a three-dimensional printer. Once Bäumer is satisfied with the shape, his craftsmen apply the same techniques that jewelers have relied on for centuries to create a wax mold, cast the setting, affix the gems, and hand-polish the finished design. The results are precise, faithful, and—for Bäumer—gratifying realizations of his patiently held vision. “I’ve had these doors in my mind for a long time,” he says. “When the light shines through them, the glass appears like a painting.”