“I’m always drawn to trying new materials and I love creating tactile surfaces,” says Grace Du Prez. A mixed media designer based in London, England, Grace was drawn to the 3Doodler as an experimental new medium.
Grace is no stranger to using unconventional materials in her design pieces. “My previous work has involved lots of surface design techniques including digital embroidery and fabric manipulation,” she explains, “as well as the use of many unusual materials from leather to human hair, and even Mini Cheddars!”
With the wide range of colors available, and having the ability to control the final texture of the plastic, Grace was immediately drawn to the 3Doodler. “It was really interesting to start working with plastic as a medium and exploring all the different effects you can create,” she says.
"It was really interesting to start working with plastic as a medium and exploring all the different effects you can create."
Her very first project—a Peacock Hat for Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot—was certainly a head-turner, and earned her multiple headlines and accolades. “This was the very first time I had used 3Doodler,” Grace says, “so I learnt a lot in a very short amount of time!”
The completed hat took over 60 hours, all Doodled in the span of a week. “There were also a couple of days spent doing the initial designing,” Grace says. “The hat was made up of three different size feathers, all with three colours in them. Each one varied from around 15-30 minutes to make.”
Whether Doodling fanciful hats or fancy jewelry, Grace says it’s not as simple as picking up a 3Doodler and drawing away. “My design process is quite experimental and there is always an element of trial and development,” she explains. “I often start with a mood-board and a brainstorm of ideas.”
Then Grace moves on to drawing out her concepts. “I will draw a few basic sketches of the silhouette and then work out the templates using CAD,” she says. “Designing on the computer works well for me as I can easily make alterations and work out the exact scale. I can also try out different colour options.”
From those plans, Grace then creates a paper model by printing the templates from the computer models. “At this point I can see if it will work logistically,” she says. “For the final part of the planning process, I Doodle a test piece to see how it will look and make adjustments where needed. This step can be repeated several times so that each part works perfectly.”
The results are stunning pieces that reflect her careful planning and meticulous execution.
Sometimes, Grace says, ideas from one project will inspire something completely different. “I’ve just finished a vase that is totally waterproof,” she says. “It’s made of multiple circular layers all joined together—the same principle as a bracelet I previously made.”
After creating the bracelet, Grace says she was inspired by the clear plastic and the circular shapes. “It’s functional and the clear plastic looks really beautiful through the water,” she says. “I applied a layer of clear silicon to the inside surface to make it watertight.”
For Grace, the 3Doodler seems the perfect tool for her artistic and design ideas. “I like that the 3Doodler combines modern technology and yet is still very hands on,” she says. “The making process is integral to me as a designer and I like my work to have a hand made quality.”
And while Grace is now an expert at using the 3Doodler to its highest potential, she says there’s always more to learn. “I’m always getting new ideas for projects,” she says, “and there are still lots of techniques I’d like to try!”
See more of Grace’s work on her website.