Designers Use NASA Elevation Mapping to Precision Craft Mountainous Landscape Jewelry

Totems allow us to feel connected to something (or someone) even if we’re apart—the small objects conjure memories and feelings just by looking at them. This is the idea behind Waaypoint, an online shop that creates totems of special places. Conceived in Portland and born from a love of cartography as well as the Pacific Northwest, the designers have produced a collection of pendants and rings featuring the famous Mt. Hood. “[It’s] our first location and personal Waaypoint,” they tell us in an email.

Each totem showcases the mountain’s peak rising in solid silver, plated rose gold, and plated 18k gold. The representation of Mt. Hood is impressively precise and includes intricate nooks and crannies—a miniaturized version of the real thing. To produce this effect, Waaypoint 3D printed the location from NASA’s digital elevation mapping. Afterwards, they made a cast of the mountain and used it to form the jewelry. “Every piece,” they explain, “is stamped with the GPS coordinates marking its location.”

Waaypoint sells their exquisite totems through their website.

Waaypoint: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Melissa Patterson and Ben Coughlin.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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