Trevor Barnett


We have sent five interview questions to several jewelry design students of Tomas Wittelsbach. These questions were intended to get some important information about them for feature “case study” articles. Trevor Barnett was one of those who responded to our online interview.

Trevor Barnett is relatively new in the business of jewelry design. He just started this year learning the basics of 3D designs in one of Tomas’ classes. He enrolled to a four-day jewelry course on carving wax models and casting molds based on the wax model. The course also included spruing and filing for smoothing out the jewelry design.

Trevor is not a stranger to design because he is a graphic designer by profession. He works full time in an advertising agency. As a student of jewelry design, he is currently focusing on rings, broaches and bracelets.

He has used ZBrush years before he took jewelry design courses.

“ I tried Zbrush years before and have used Cinema4D with After effects for motion graphics aswell as 3DS Max, Rhino and Modo. Mainly for 2d graphic work, packaging presentation/ exhibition displays etc..”

Regarding the classes he took with Tomas as instructor, Trevor said that he loved the talks on design language, the rhythm and flow of a piece of jewelry.

“I loved his talks on design language, the rhythm and flow of a piece, how like a photographer you need to look at how the piece reflects the light and trying to catch that in the sculpt. His use of Modo to base mesh and explore initial design and how to push that further in Zbrush. The crits were of great value as you got inside Tomas's head with his approach and understanding of what was good and how to improve the sculpted piece.”

According to him he already knew about the work of Tomas from ZBrushCentral blog. Tomas is the leading designer of the website who uses ZBrush in designing jewelry. Trevor mentioned that he is also a fan of H.R. Giger. He said that the main reason that he took Tomas course was that the lack of information about jewelry design using ZBrush.

He also learned how to use Modo in translating the mesh and exploring the initial design. He learned how to push the design boundaries of ZBrush. The critiques of Tomas were also very helpful in improving the design of the 3D models and translating them into something aesthetically appealing.

As a jewelry designer, Trevor has always been fascinated with the Mexican pre-Columbian art and culture of the Americas. He particularly liked the Taxco region and its skilled artists. He has always been inspired by their art works. The art works of these artisans are mainly hand crafted, which involve hammering concave and convex shapes.

He would definitely recommend Tomas’ class:

“In a word Yes. Warts and all tutorials give us all hope, it's not just us who find Zbrush amazing and exasperating at times.”

He has translated the region’s art style into his ZBrush designs, particularly in making rings. He looks forward to also using the style in creating bracelets and pendants. As of now, he is still focused on designing rings in ZBrush.

Trevor is always trying to learn new things to improve his craft. He works two hours in the morning, spending one hour on the train. He spend another one hour during lunchtime and he spends two hours some nights of the week focusing on his jewelry designs.

He always tries to balance his full time job, family quality time and jewelry design. He admits that designing jewelry is the lowest of his priorities. Despite of this, he manages to devote two days worth of ZBrush sculpting.