Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Birdging the Gaps 6

Digital form into ceramics

The intention was to develop a base form in CAD with precise, yet elemental geometry that would be difficult to achieve consistently through handcraft due to subtle deflections affected to its geometry. It was then rapid-manufactured using a Z-corp printer. A three part mould was taken from the resulting object, and a number of porcelain casts were subsequently produced using liquid porcelain slip. After biscuit firing, the ceramic forms were glazed in a mix of colours ranging yellow through orange to red. Rutile was added to variegate the final finish and in particular, the tips of the forms were dipped in glaze tinged with silicone carbide. The intention was to combine the control of rapid manufacturing in with the ‘unpredictability’ of the firing process, such that one part of each form was ordered and another subject to chance and the chemical consequences of the cooling process.

X-corp RP model

The finished sculptures exhibit a diverse range of colours, and through their length shift from a smooth continuous surface to a more textured one. Whilst clearly at a rudimentary stage of development in terms of surface glaze and treatment, the sculptures demonstrate a potential means of upsetting and destabilising the apparent ‘perfection’ of the rapid manufacturing.

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