Recently, we reported that Bre Pettis, founder and former CEO of MakerBot, had launched a new venture, Bre & Co., to make heirloom-quality gifts. At the Bre & Co. launch and holiday sale last month, I was able to see the company’s first offerings, which included folding knives, pens and jewelry. While not all their products were 3D printed, they used other rapid prototyping processes, including CNC and their packaging contained 3D printed inserts, which presented the products well. Bre & Co. has just added some new products.
The Bre & Co. Shackleton line is inspired by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, the intrepid polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic and tried to cross Antarctica from sea to sea, via the pole. The line features three new products: the Cameo Pendant, the Carrick Bend Knot Bracelet and the Anchor Chain Bracelet. The Cameo Pendant harkens back to a bygone era when high-class ladies wore cameos as brooches or on necklaces. It features a 3D printed lithophane, which at first glance appears to be opaque, but when held up to the light reveals a photograph of the customer’s choosing. Be & Co. states that its the perfect way to keep the image of a loved one near you at all times.
To make the Cameo Pendant, the Bre & Co. artists combined traditional craftsmanship and advanced manufacturing with 3D printing. First, the porthole-shaped frame is cast using a lost wax technique and then the lithophane image is printed on a high resolution 3D printer. The 3D image is then placed between two layers of transparent sapphire crystal. It is crafted from sterling silver and has a Polyjet RGD810 photopolymer lithophane component inside and encased in clear sapphire for strength. It comes with a 24″ sterling silver chain and a micro tag at the clasp that can be customized using laser engraving with up to 3 characters for the recipient’s initials. The Bre & Co. Cameo Pendant retails for $180.
The Carrick Bend Knot Bracelet is based on a rope knot called the Carrick Bend. It’s a functional knot to bind two lines together in strength. The Carrick Bend is a steady and useful nautical knot that’s also aesthetically beautiful. This knot has been found carved into Ormonde castle in Ireland and has been in heavy use on sailing vessels around the world for centuries. Made in sterling silver, this bracelet can be gently bent to suit your wrist. There is room on each inside edge for a personalized laser engraving of up to 3 initials.
The Anchor Chain Bracelet is crafted from sterling silver with a battleship grey coating that wears away with age into a patina revealing the silver’s shine. The clasp has room for up to 8 characters to be personalized through laser engraving, with a name, initials or a short message. The Carrick Bend Knot Bracelet retails for $149, while the Anchor Chain Bracelet is $499. According to Pettis, the Shackleton line is based on the equipment that survived nautical adventures of the early 20th century.
“Giving heirloom-quality gifts made with craftsmanship has always been part of who I am,” notes Pettis, “Our first line of products, the Origami line, was inspired by the triangles found in the interior lattices of 3D models, as well as the folded aesthetic of origami. For the Shackleton line, I was inspired by my father’s recent trip to Antarctica, where he retraced the steps of famed polar explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton. The themes of adventure, exploration and resiliency strike a chord within me.”
Also this month is an addition to the Origami Line, the Bre & Co. Spiral Vase. This vase combines advanced manufacturing and traditional ceramic techniques into one unique object. Each geometric vase is fabricated on a ceramic 3D printer. The vases are then fired in a large wood fire kiln, one of the oldest traditional methods of firing ceramics. Although every vase has the same glaze applied to it, the unpredictability of the kiln results in dramatic variations in color, ranging from an eggshell blush pink, to crystallized deep blue. The Spiral Vase is a limited edition range of 30 unique pieces, each coated in a nontoxic and lead-free glaze. It sells for $149.
These new Bre & Co. products are out in time for Valentine’s Day, so if you’re looking for a unique gift it be worth a look. You can find all these gifts on their product page.
Below is a video of Bre Pettis introducing Bre & Co.: