In conversation with Alissia Melka-Teichroew

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 17.11.2015
Sanna Svedestedt
Edited by:
Edited at:
Alissia Melka-Teichroew. Necklace: Cut Beauty Black, 2015. 3D print. Photo by: Lisa Klappe. Alissia Melka-Teichroew
Necklace: Cut Beauty Black, 2015
3D print
Photo by: Lisa Klappe
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Designer Alissia Melka-Teichroew talks about her work and use of 3D printing techniques in jewellery.
Hello Alissia! 
You are a designer currently living and working in New York. You manage your own brand of jewellery and home products byAMT and in January 2015 you started a new position as a Senior Curator for Ebay. We are curious to know more about your practice. Can you walk us through a “regular day at work”?

A regular day does not really exist. Content wise that is. I do go into the studio at regular hours. But the daily things are always different. Currently I am wearing many hats indeed. I am freelancing for Ebay as a senior curator. This work fits into what I normally do in a way, since I am also working on the art direction for the catalogue and other styling images for a company called Kikkerland. Apart from this orders come and have to be processed and shipped. Throughout the year different consulting projects come in as well. So a regular day does not really exist. It’s always a different combination of things.

One big change, is that soon no products will exist anymore under the byAMT Brand. They will either be produced and sold through another brand - like for instance the Ballpoint Wallpaper Series for Rollout (CA), Milk Stools for Y’A Pas Le Feu Au Lac (FR) and Little Big Trivet for Areaware (US) - or no longer be produced. I have decided it is time for me and my studio to focus on designing and consulting versus selling and producing items. It will be a big change, but I have been easing into it with the work at Ebay. It has been 10 years and it is time for something new.

Studio space, photo by Elisah Jacobs/ Interior Junkie

How do you find balance between your different positions and projects?
That is a good question. I don’t know if I have ever found a balance. But I do not know any different. I have always done many things at the same time. I am not sure you can call it “balance”. But it works for me in a way. I prefer having to do different types of things. It keeps me going.

Between 2003-2008 you started developing the Jointed Jewels, a collection of computer designed and 3D printed jewellery. What was the background and idea of these pieces?
It started with just simply learning how to build a connection in 3D software (Solidworks) and then having to 3D print it. The idea was that we could 3D print 2 pieces they could be connected by clicking them together, or twisting or any type of 2-part connection. The connection I thought of was a ball joint. Since this is something that is normally made out of two parts and then either popped together or put together and then welded so it cannot come out, all depending on the material. However, with 3D printing it was possible to make this in one piece. With the type of printing I used the first time, I created one object with a small connection which could be snapped and then the ball was able to move inside a hollow shape. The two parts could not physically be removed from each other. This was the beginning.

Alissia Melka-Teichroew, necklace Jointed Jewels
photo by byAMT


I was interested in creating jewelry based on this connection and started making pieces for fun in silver, which I was using the normal way, encapsulating one piece inside the other and soldering it shut. (I did this during my jewelry 101 class, which is the only jewelry class I have every taken). A few years later this project was still in my head and I wanted to still try out making a piece of jewelry printed in one piece. So with the ball joint inside the other cavity which would physically no be able to be removed. I did my first print with a German company and presented the first pieces at Cite Goes Dutch in 2009. Later I continued working on these pieces and continued working with the same company to color the pieces. The technology I used was  SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), which is a powder based printing. Here is a video on the making of jointed jewels and a literal animation on how it gets built up inside the printer.

3D-printers have evolved since you first started using them to becoming more accessible and affordable. Have you seen a change in interests for this technique?
Things have definitely changed in the 3D printing world since I first started working with it. On the one hand it is all very exciting on the other hand I feel like a lot of people are just using the technology just for the sake of being able to use it. For me the thing about 3D printing that interests me, is the fact that you can really do certain things that are unavailable to be done using other techniques. Or that just simply make more sense using 3D printing. This is a challenge in a way, since many things actually can be done very well (often better) using other technologies (new school or old school). Right now 3D printing is just very “hip and cool” and I do not see this changing in the foreseeable future. So I guess I will have to live with many 3D printed objects just being made through this technology just for the sake of it.