This project is really special to me as it marks a turning point in my career. In April of 2019, I decided to move from Providence, RI to Brooklyn, NY to pursue a freelance career. To me, an ideal client has unique interesting ideas, an appreciation for design, and a mission statement that aligns with my beliefs. Upon meeting Hunter Craighill and his team, I quickly realized they met and exceeded this criteria. His company's ethos aligns with mine, they believe in making things that are built to last and ignite a sense of wonder. I was inspired by the beauty of their existing product line and was excited to have the opportunity to add to and elevate it.
During one of our first meetings, Hunter brought a bunch of obscure product references that he was inspired by to create a new product. He shared a stack of photos of antique handcuffs with weird geometry, interesting shapes, and unique closure mechanisms. I was thinking in my head “what the hell does he want to design together? I’ve never seen design reference this weird from a client”. He took out some sketches that described a cuff designed as two identical parts with a hinge in their center that could snap shut and open similar to a modern pocket knife.
Designing jewelry was something I was completely unfamiliar with. For us it was important to use the restraints of the manufacturing processes to drive decisions or else the project would be too open ended. Our restraints were simple, both parts must be identical and they must be machined.
After using 'off the shelf' hardware for most of our iterations, we decided nothing was quite perfect for our application. Under the advice of an expert knife craftsman, we ended up sourcing custom hardware to fit the exact needs of this unique piece
A carefully calibrated detent gives this cuff its signature 'snap' close. A satisfying and tactile experience that was inspired by high end knives.
I am quite excited to have this project be the first to production in my freelance career. It's been great to work with the talented team at Craighill and I can't wait to share more of the interesting designs we are cooking up together.