A tiny Wedgwoodn't Tureen, 2014
H.15cm/5 7/8", W. 16cm/6 1/4", D. 13cm/5 1/8"
Available from Adrian Sassoon
This is a new version of my first digital piece, which I created as my final project at the Royal College of Art.
It is a small step forward as the making of this piece combines the 3000+ year old process of lost wax casting and 'post-industrial' manufacturing.
Wedgwoodn't Tureen Garniture, 2012
Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon material encased in patinated copper.
Height 33cm (13") Width 60cm (23 5/8") Depth 13.5cm (5 5/16")
Purchased by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 2014 through Adrian Sassoon
The Wedgwoodn't Tureen 2010
The Wedgwoodn't Tureen, 3D printed with a pink coloured non-fired ceramic coating. This unique piece has been acquired by the Crafts Council, UK through Adrian Sassoon.
The Wedgwoodn't Tureen 2009
The Wedgwoodn't Tureen, 3D printed with a lemon coloured non-fired ceramic coating. This unique piece has been acquired by The Musée des Beaux Arts, Montreal, Canada through Adrian Sassoon.
The Wedgwoodn't Tureen 2010
Round Terracotta Wedgwoodn't Tureen, 2010
Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with mineral soft coating
Height 29cm (11 3/8") Width 23.5cm (9 1/4") Depth 18.5cm (7")
Private Collection, Australia, 2011
The Wedgwoodn't Tureen 2008
Produced by 3D printing from a plaster/gypsum material with a unique non-fired ceramic coating
Height 8 5/8" (22cm) Width 9 1/2" (24cm) Depth 5 7/8" (15cm)
Private Collection, UK, 2008
À Rebours 2009
Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a unique non-fired ceramic coating and liquid gold leaf
Height 39cm Width 30cm Depth 28cm
Private Collection, New York, 2010
The piece was inspired by a pair of Sèvres porcelain lidded vases in the Wallace Collection, London (C284 and 285). My attraction to them was particularly in the playful, gold ceramic ‘fountains’ on the lids.
My approach to reinterpreting the piece was to start by looking at the history of Sèvres, and the role that the ceramic pieces played in French society of the time. I was intrigued that the Manufactory was started in order to produce an imitation of the much sought after German hard-paste porcelain, itself an imitation of highly prized Chinese and Japanese porcelain. It was seen to represent wealth, importance, and refined taste. In Germany, Meissen was patronised by King Augustus, who amassed a huge collection, and in France Sèvres operated under the patronage of Louis XV.
As royalty have often set fashion trends, the style of Sèvres porcelain was imitated by inferior manufacturers, enabling purchase by the less wealthy who aspired to possess the genuine article.
This is essentially a story of imitation and aspiration, not only in style and materials but also in the symbolism of the objects. Jade was mimicked by celadon glazed ceramics; hard paste porcelain by soft-paste porcelain. The reverse happened in the development of Bone China, an attempt by Josiah Spode and others to imitate Chinese porcelain. It resulted in a very fine quality material that achieved high status.
Precious metals are also imitated. Costume jewellery is another example of aspiration and imitation. It came into being in the 1930s as a cheap, disposable accessory meant to be worn with a specific outfit. It was intended to be fashionable for a short period of time, outdate itself, and then be repurchased to fit with a new outfit or new fashion style.
In my re-interpretation of the Sèvres piece there is imitation, yet it is not a ‘costume jewellery’ alternative. I use processes that were originally intended for engineers yet allow enormous creative freedom; and materials that are ceramic, but are not used in traditional ways.
So, my interpretation of the Sèvres piece is a paradox. The piece was designed on a computer and produced by Additive Manufacturing (also known as Rapid Manufacturing or 3D printing). So the piece is not hand made, though the design process took up to 150 hours of intense work. It is partly ceramic, though it has not been fired. The decoration is based on symbols of wealth, yet they are costume jewellery or more exactly ‘bling’.
It is based on an exquisitely crafted object of enormous value. My piece is made from common and relatively inexpensive raw materials that have undergone very precise processing as a result of a great deal of research. And the manufacture of the piece is an expensive process that requires time and skill.
In summing up I would say that my aim has been to create a beautiful object with historical and cultural references that proposes a dialogue between what is real and what is not.
Salix Morrisia 2010
Made by 3D printing from a plaster and gypsum material encased in patinated copper
Height 21cm (8 1/4") Width 24cm (9 1/2") Depth 21 cm (8 1/4")
Exhibited at The 2011 Cheongu International Craft Biennale, South Korea
2008 - 2010
Works made by Michael Eden between 2008 and 2010.. Michael Eden, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, ceramics, Adrian Sassoon