3D-printed and cast in solid gold, these alternative rings marry technology with handcraft to fit the modern-day couple
3D printing may be the Industrial Revolution of today, but most of the consumer 3D-printed goods that are currently on sale to the public often look like they've come from a printer. When the product's biggest sell is the technology used to make it—like these printed cakes revealed at this year's CES, which look beautiful on the outside but taste generic—it almost seems like 3D-printers have led us backward in time to tolerate lower quality. The two design minds behind Endswell Collection, however, take 3D printing as a form of manufacturing to the next level by refining it with the art of handcraft. They produce polished rings that are minimal, but make still a statement.
Collectively, San Francisco-based Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming have backgrounds in interior design, architecture and graphic design (Deming has worked with CH favorite Yves Behar at fuseproject, and is also co-founder of the adventurous city experience app Mosey). As a duo, they have honed their skills through their own Yield Design Co. Their foray in wedding rings came about from their experience as a couple living in the 21st century. "We are a couple but we are not married, and this actually does have significant impact on how Endswell came about," Gant tells CH. "We've openly discussed marriage and the selection of rings that we encountered produced a glaring void—they just don't align with how we envision our lifestyle and relationship."
Endswell wedding rings serve as an alternative to what's out there; they include no diamonds, are sold as sets and are much more affordable—prices are in the three digits. But they also represent the technology of today: The ring designs are 3D printed (where dimensions must be correct to the fraction of a millimeter), cast in the solid gold color of your choice (rose, yellow or white), and finally hand-polished until they sparkle.
It's clear that Gant and Deming have spent a long time thinking on this subject. "With Endswell, a larger inspiration is at play in reconsidering how marriage should be seen in the modern day,'" Gant continues. "We see the modern couple looking for a design that embodies the core element of a relationship. It's about unity, commitment, and support. You will notice a repeating theme in our rings of infinite surfaces and intersecting forms. These come about when designing from a vocabulary, when words take form."
Gant and Deming had designed rings for their friends (which later became Infinity No. 1 and 2) and realized that others shared their sentiments regarding what makes a meaningful wedding. "We explored a bit deeper into marriage today and discovered the difficulty that same-sex couples encounter when searching for rings. Some purchase the same ring, some lean feminine, some masculine, but with everything labelled as male and female, the choices are unclear," notes Gant. "We responded by designing mini-collections that have vocabularies relating to each other. Most are unisex, some a bit more feminine while others a bit more masculine. Couples can mix and match to have rings that relate as a pair yet speak to the individual's personality." Furthermore, to make Endswell accessible to more than couples getting married, they've designed a line of everyday rings "for any occasion or no occasion at all."
The story behind the name, Endswell, also reveals how Gant and Deming approach design—it's snipped from the phrase, "All's well that ends well." Gant says, "We found it to be a nice sentiment because it acknowledges a sort of perfect imperfect. To us it means that we can't always predict and control exactly how life will turn out, but if we act with positive intention and our minds are open, good things will come. We are creating pieces that are very much today, but part of that is considering what we are passing along. We want to create heirlooms with meanings that last."
Shop both the inaugural 2014 collection and the Commitment collections online; rings start at $295.
Images courtesy of Endswell Collection