We remember all of our custom designs, but there are some memories that stick more with us. Like jewellery designs that were challenging and those we have done for the first time. Engagement rings that are redesigns from old family jewellery or created from a photograph with a long story attached to them. Natural pearls and gold that has been passed down for generations, customer sketches and drawings to be redesigned into pendants and rings. Unusual material and combinations that need a well thought out design to make it last and wearable.

The nautilus ring design was a very special case and our biggest challenge so far.

Our client walked through our door with a small box containing a paper nautilus shell that she has found on a beach here in New Zealand. I have never seen them before, the bigger versions are well known with their perfect spiral shell. As the name suggests, their shell is quite soft and brittle, nearly see- through. Therefore they are difficult to find in one piece on our New Zealand shore lines. Her family made it their own personal challenge to find them while enjoying their time together on the beach.

paper nautilus shell new zealand

Paper nautilus shell

As a nice gesture she thought about a ring design in silver for her and her family to remember these special days.

Sitting on our workbench, a mixture of a dinosaur and shell, too soft to cover in wax to take an impression without damaging it, we had to think of something else.
With taking pictures from all angles we were able to trace and rejoin the shell outlining.

3D design beginning nautilus shell ring design ringcraft moana

start of the rebuild of the paper nautilus shell

The sculpturing part took most of our time. Over a million triangles have been accumulated during our sculpturing process recreating the nautilus shell as a 3D design.

3d designer New Zealand shell

3D design of our nautilus shell

From here we were able to size and place the shell on top of a ring design and print it out in a castable wax to start our casting process on site.Final stages: casting in sterling silver and clean up of the ring design and we were done!

silver ring design 3d

3D silver ring design with nautilus ready to be printed

3d casting design of a shell ring

3D casting of the nautilus shell ring design


3D silver ring design with nautilus

Finished 3D silver ring design with nautilus