PRESENCE AND POSSIBILITIES -
CLAY 3D PRINTING
ESTONIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS, TALLINN
For two years the department of ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn has been developing 3D printing and including the technique in their curriculum. Head of department Urmas Puhkan is skilfully supported by Lauri Kilusk who looks after the ceramic printing and they are in the fortunate position of having a young engineer Madis Kaasik who is developing equipment for them.
Last August they organised a 3D clay printing workshop at EAA for ceramists from Estonian, Finnish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Norwegian and Russian universities, shareing experience and encouraged participation. The event was organised again this year and I was lucky to be invited as a guest. This years program was expanded to include students and staff and over ten nationalities were represented.
A week is too short for covering all the many aspects to ceramic 3D printing but the organisers did well to cram in as much as possible. Samson Shafran from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Tel Aviv presented a very thorough lecturing on 3D printing and then helped with 3D modelling software. Rasmus Eist who works in the sculpture department of Tartu Art College, Estonia demonstrated and assisted with 3D scanning while also helping with 3D printers. Madis Kaasik brought a number of machines and Lauri Kilusk looked after clay preparation and kept everthing running. The EAA architecture department had just taken delivery of a Universal Robot arm that was borrowed and Lauri got that up and running.
26 - 29 June 2017
DE JUTTER, VLIELAND
De Jutter, Vlieland is the lead school of the Erasmus+ project that I am involved in and is looking at how 3D thinking and 3D printing is being incorporated in schools curriculum across the EU. In 2013 the school situated on an island off the northern Netherlands became interested in how 3D printing could help an island community and whether they could recycle plastic washed up around the island to use in 3D printing. What was a Comenius EU funded project was born and is now in its second two year phase as an Erasmus+ project?
I was invited to do a ceramic 3D print workshop so we themed it around the idea of making ceramic souvenirs for the island. As so often happens we ran out of time but the idea was not only to look at the design of souvenirs but for students to do first hand research in the town of Vlieland to find out what sort of items sell and the price range. To then develop a business plan around the design, manufacture and distribution of their souvenirs. While too ambitious in this instance I do think 3D printing can offer the technology and manufacturing capabilities for a small scale ceramic business of this model.
13 - 16 June 2017
OF ART - STAFF DEVELOPMENT: 3D CERAMIC PRINTING
This was a rewarding workshop for me in that most often I am teaching software as well as clay but in this case the staff were up to speed with software. The outcomes are so much better when this is the case and I am always excited to see what others can do with the technology.
Staff from the Design & Applied arts departments had almost completed the build of a JK Delta DIY ceramic printer by the time I arrived. So the workshop consisted of getting their printer up and running and then along with two printers I had brought as a group we explored how to print in clay.
Discussions were had as to how to introduce this way of working to students, and how it will spinout into research projects. The school is considering building a bigger printer and to experiment with printing in concrete.
01 June 2017
SOUND SURFACE -
PORCELAIN VASES DECORATED WITH SOUND
Thinking like a traditional potter I coded a point in virtual space to spiral and as it grows into the pot shape a three dimensional computer mesh is created linking the points. The surface of the mesh is progressively textured by adding digital sound recording to the growing form. The surface, from base to rim becomes a representation of the rhythm and tone of the sound named in the title of each pot.
I am interested to see whether there is any correlation between the physical visual representation of bird song and human music in the patterns on the surface of the vases. We know what the rhythms and pitch of each sounds like but what do they look like?
24 May – 9 June 2017
CERAMICS AS EXPERIENCE:
THE RESEARCH LABORATORY
In the Autumn of 2014 the National School of Art, Limoges establish a new research laboratory conducted by artist Michel Paysant (top image). Michel has a really interesting approach to education with the ambition to promote contemporary creative cross over between art and design courses that through research and experimentation combines plastics, theoretical and scientific knowledge around materials. I am delighted to be a visiting lecturer on this course.
The laboratory aims to involve ceramics, in its various forms at the very heart of the project while looking for the most unexpected and unpredictable. To establish new relations between ceramics and the surrounding world and to encourage new dialogues between students engaged in artistic practices and the territories of researchers and experimentation. There is a desire to build collaborative projects and promote cooperation that produces outcomes at the borders of these territories. The Lab seeks to question the type, model, and standards set by tradition and thereby creating works that surprises the creator and the viewer.
‘Ceramics as Experience’ was this year’s summer presentation of the laboratory. I exhibited my Refraction series where I am interested in the layers of skin that build the object. Referencing the tradition of pottery, of a clay body covered in glass I have separated out these two elements so now there is space between the outer glass skin and the inner clay body. This gives space for light falling on the body to become refracted offering a surface decoration that is constantly changing according to the light condition.
02 - 04 May 2017
ERASMUS+ FARLINGAYE VISIT SUFFOLK, UK
Farlingaye High School hosted the first partner school meeting of the two-year Erasmus+ 3D in Education Project following the week of training in Boras, Sweden in January. Visiting partner schools each brought two representatives and activities included a visit to BT research, Aldeburgh fish and chips, my studio and a practical workshop. I had been asked to demonstrate 3D printing of food so we printed the project logo as biscuits.
31March – 2 April 2017
CERAMIC ART LONDON
Ceramic Art London is the premier UK ceramic fair. An annual event it is held around Easter in the main space of Central Saint Martins School of Art. I was asked to do a talk in the lecture series that is run over the three day even and to demonstrate ceramic 3D printing. I do not do demonstrations but I was happy to continue the student workshop that I had offered earlier in the year at CSM. By continuing the workshop students could have access to my ceramic 3D print equipment that the Art School does not yet have and the Fair would get their demonstration.
For the lecture I combined and edited two previous lectures and in this new form I felt it was well received. It combined my lecture on ceramic 3D printing that looks at different types of printing, the strengths and weaknesses and the users of ceramic printing, with my artist talk that covers how I got into printing, the work I have done and then other associated projects.
27 - 29 March 2017
ARTIST-MAKERS: FABLAB LIMERICK, IRELAND
This ceramic 3D print workshop was in conjunction with the touring exhibition Future Artist-Makers in which I had work and was while the exhibition was at the FabLab in Limerick. The exhibition began its tour at the Nerve Visual Gallery in Derry, Northern Island and after Limerick it was to tour to UltraLab, Madrid. Workshop participant and active Limerick FabLab member Ivor O’Shea wrote about the workshop on his blog here.
25 March. - 22 April 2017
FUTURE FORWARDS: BLUECOAT DISPLAY CENTRE, LIVERPOOL
This mixed show of artists, designers and makers was curated around those using new and innovative digital craft techniques. Work featured included metalwork, textiles, ceramics, jewellery and glass. The aim of the exhibition was to show how digital craft is becoming ever more advanced and with practitioners demonstrating an increased commitment to authenticity and originality.
20 February - 03 march 2017
LE LABORATOIRE DE RECHERCHE DE L’ENSA - MEISENTHAL, FRANCE
For a second year the students of the Ceramic Research Laboratory course at ENSA Limoges had the wonderful opportunity to extend their skills and concepts into collaborating with the glass makers at CIAV Meisenthal
The Laboratory is a post diploma course open to students from across the school so some are design orientated, others more interested in making and others conceptually driven. This always makes for a fascinating range of approaches taken to thinking about combining clay, glass and new ways of working that include digital techniques.
While teaching on this course and being back at the glass studio it was a chance for me to continue the series of work I had started a year ago where I 3D print ceramic moulds that are then glass blown into. Having built a larger printer last summer I was able to scale up the work that was very pleasing. The increased scale has a better bodily sense about it and the expression of the glass as a skin has more solidity while remaining fragile. The skill of the CIAV glass blowers to judge the weight and thickness distribution of these large blown forms is most admirable.
06 – 10 February 2017
CRAFTSMANSHIP ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH - CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, LONDON
Celebrating the fact that Ceramics has been taught at Central Saint Martins School of Art for over 100 years the exhibition Craftsmanship Alone is Not Enough represented a mixing together of work by alumni and current staff and students. Celebrating this rich history the title of the exhibition was taken from words of pioneering teacher and founder of the course Dora Billington.
The organisers wanted the exhibition to reflect the embodied practice of working with ceramics so included an active studio space in the gallery. I was invited to do a ceramic 3D printing workshop with students from the ceramic course in the gallery. A personal added dimension to this was that my BA ceramics teacher back at Pietermaritzburg University in South Africa, Hilda Ditchburn had been a student of Dora Billingtons, so there was a lovely completeness to the event.
16 – 20 January 2017
ERASMUS+ 3D EDUCATION
Education 3D – formally the schools 3D Comenius project has started a new two year phase. Supported by the EU Erasmus+ fund the objectives of this project remain much the same as before and that is to look at how 3D printing and 3D thinking with be embedded into schools curriculum.
There has been some change in participating schools with new schools joining from Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, the UK and Spain. They join two school remaining from the first two year phase, the lead school from Vlieland Island in the Netherlands and the Swedish school in Boras.
This first meeting was back in Boras, a weeklong workshop held in the ideal surroundings of NAVED Science Centre. It was a chance for the new school to learn more about the project, for us all to get to know one another better, but the main aim was to offer a concentrated week of staff development. This included technical guidance on 3D computer modelling, 3D scanning and 3D printing but the overriding question constantly was how best to teach 3D think and how best to set lesson plans that make use of these skills across the curriculum and that are successful to teach with large student groups.