Ontogenie is jewelry and design inspired by science and nature. From microscopic plankton to plants, animals, and fossils, my mission is to illustrate nature artistically and accurately. All designs are my original work, and many of the species have never before been sculpted as jewelry.
Who I am
I'm a former scientist, a nature lover, and a 3D printing design fanatic. In 2010, after several years of postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, I left laboratory science so that my work schedule could be more flexible for my family, and to pursue scientific art. I learned how to use Blender, a 3D modeling and animation software, and created short videos to explain scientific research topics (see Moves like Nature videos). When I realized that my animation models could be adapted for 3D printing and that it was possible to 3D print precious metals, I started Ontogenie. My goal is to create jewelry that is meaningful to scientists.
How I create
Ontogenie jewelry and 3D-printed designs are created using a combination of modern and ancient technology. Using three-dimensional CAD software, I sculpt my designs by hand in the virtual reality of my computer.
I send my sculpt files to my production partners in the Netherlands and Belgium where they are 3D printed in wax before being cast in silver, bronze or brass by the centuries-old process of lost wax casting. Most of my cast metal pieces are then lightly polished to give them a smooth glossy texture, whereas the more ornate pieces are left unpolished to preserve fine details.
The stainless steel is created by 3D-printing of a binder onto a bed of steel powder followed by bronze infusion of the 3D-print and baking in a kiln. See the Materials page for examples.
When you order
I try to keep as many pieces as possible in stock, but if I don't have the jewelry you want on hand, please allow 2-3 weeks for printing before I can ship. My T-shirts are print on demand and usually ship within 2-5 days. Shipping times are dependent on where you live in the world. All jewelry is gift-wrapped in original Ontogenie packaging and shipped by tracked mail. I use as many recyclable materials as possible in my shipping to protect our oceans from plastics.
Other places to buy
If you have questions that I haven't answered, drop me a line through the contact form or email me directly at email@example.com, or post your comments and questions on my Ontogenie Instagram or Ontogenie Facebook accounts.
If you are interested in having a piece designed just for you or for someone else, please read about my custom design process here.