Kewei Design has recently launched their inaugural collection, Essence. Starting out with hand painted calligraphy, they use a process that involves contemporary technologies such as 3D printing to give the character a third dimension in precious metal. This makes a pendant that looks as if the calligrapher had dipped his brush in metal rather than ink. The result is unlike any other jewellery on the market.
The three founders (Yichan Cai, Kewei Duan and Greg Lewin) have developed their method for translating the calligraphy into metal and are constantly pursuing new ideas for improving the works they produce using each of their strengths. Kewei is their calligrapher and 3D modeller. His family has a long history in the art and his grandfather, 段宝斋, is well known and even at 92 still writes every day. Yichan has an eye for fashion and a background in engineering, while Greg is a materials scientist by training. Each of them brings something to the mix and they are very excited about what they plan to produce in the future (which will be more than new characters), as well as what they feel is ready to release now.
The three pieces they have chosen to present first have significance to both Chinese and British culture as concepts as well as looking great as art and jewellery. The words chosen for this initial offering are: Love (爱), Joy (乐) and Family (家). In each piece the essence of the character incorporated. For example, the love pendant contains within it the Chinese character for heart (Xin, 心), a couple dancing and a mother holding a child.
By using 3D printing during their process they are able to reproduce the character as originally painted exactly rather than having to rely on hand approximation. They have taken great care to ensure that the addition of the chain doesn’t disrupt the flow of the character. The result is pure, elegant and beautiful.