The Hand and the Glove... ramblings about making.

'Very Good'

‘Very Good’ Lecture – Norwegian Crafts, National Museum for Decorative Art and Design, Oslo. 21 November 2013

(This is part of the lecture that I gave recently in Oslo on the subject of the relevance of craftsmanship)

I have been reading a book by Robert MacFarlane (2012) called The Old Ways. In it he describes exploring ancient routes, on foot and by sailing ship. He talks about the way in which the creators and followers of these paths and roads have left their traces on the landscape and how present-day wanderers connect to past generations through those marks and signs, whilst adding their own for future generations.

MacFarlane defines the ancient Celtic word immram as a kind of sea-voyage from the known to the unknown. It can be used to describe a pragmatic journey, one from A to B, but also a mystical spirit-voyage, something like the Aboriginal walkabout. Through this journey the present can be reunited with the past and the real can be connected to the unreal. 
Whilst reading the book, I was thinking about how this could also describe the act of making. There are similarities. For one thing, making is not a static activity; it requires movement, often repeated movement, like walking. For the most part, the paths that the maker treads are familiar; we know our tools and the way to use them. But from time to time the conditions change. This is analogous to how a skipper of a sailing ship must constantly be alert to subtle signs that the wind direction is going to change. The tools and processes that makers use also need to be responsive and evolve. Traditionally, the knowledge and skills are passed on from hand to hand. Once they travelled the world along trade routes such as the Silk Road, and now they can be passed on over the Internet via YouTube. 

A few years ago I held some fourteenth-century pots excavated at the farm next door to where I live. When I put my fingers on the marks left by the potters’ hands, I felt an almost tangible electric current arcing back over 600 years and uniting us. It raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

Making is a voyage of discovery, one where we adapt our knowledge and experience to unfamiliar or unknown landscapes. For me, it is a way of visualising the abstract, of realising an idea or concept as an artwork. Recently, Grayson Perry described an artist ‘as a pilgrim on the road to meaning’.[1]

I would like talk about my practice as a way to explore how the methods I use have contributed to the blurring of boundaries between art, craft and design. I hope that this way of working will encourage the viewer to ask ‘what and why’ not ‘how’. Having said that, in making my artworks, I am very interested in the ‘how’, as I am using emerging technologies that were not designed to do what I try to make them do. But I hope the viewer will go beyond that stage and start to unpack the narrative and react to the ideas that the works explore.

We are now in the early stages of a new Industrial Revolution; over the past 20 years digital technology has made massive changes to the way things are designed and made. According to Grayson Perry, if Michelangelo was here now, he would be making CGI movies. And can you imagine what Da Vinci would be doing?[2] Designers and makers have always been interested in materials and processes, for without them it is impossible to realise an idea as an object.

Technological advances often create new movements in art and design. For instance, the American portrait artist John Rand invented the paint tube in 1841. Before that, all oil paint had to be prepared by an artist or assistant in just the small quantities needed for the day. You could therefore say that French Impressionism would not have happened without Rand, as the paint tube allowed artists to paint outdoors. But when we visit the museums in Paris to see Monet’s paintings of water lilies, do we think of John Rand?

Something similar is happening now with emerging digital technologies; there is a growing community of creative people appropriating these new tools and adapting them to purposes for which they were never intended. And as a result, there are questions being asked about the place of these new tools in the practice of makers.

My particular interest is in making meaningful objects that explore both the actual world and the virtual world of computers. To achieve this I use some of the new tools that are available to us, particularly Additive Manufacturing, which refers to the technology commonly known as 3D printing.

For me, the attraction is that this technology allows previously impossible objects to be made.

Many people, and this includes many of my colleagues from the studio pottery world, think that 3D printing simply happens by ‘pressing the button’, but through my works I hope to demonstrate that the new tools I use require the acquisition of new craft skills and thought processes.

Yet being seduced by this wonderful new toolbox is unlikely to produce great art or craft. I agree with Peter Lunenfeld when he writes that technological enchantment leads down a slippery slope to the ‘media of attractions’, defined as ‘[a]rtefacts of digital culture whose appeal is essentially their perceived novelty. They attract less for what they mean than for the fact that they are’ (Lunenfeld 2001: 173).

Working in the virtual world of the computer does not teach you about materials and processes. It should be underpinned by working with your hands, testing materials and exploring processes. In other words, it is a matter of learning by doing. Getting involved in making things at an early age and staying involved must surely be the way forward in order to reach a level where tacit knowledge and haptic skills can be applied almost subconsciously to the creation of a meaningful object.

I might not go so far as to say that we need a new Arts and Crafts movement, but if we do, I would like it to have a less romantic vision and a more inclusive philosophy than that of William Morris. I would want it to embrace the new technology and recognise the craft of working with code. I believe C.R. Ashbee, who was an important proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, would have agreed with me for the most part, as he quotes his friend Frank Lloyd Wright in his journal:

“My God” he said, “is Machinery; and the art of the future will be the expression of the individual artist through the thousand powers of the machine, - the machine doing all those things that the individual workman cannot do. The creative artist is the man who controls all this and understands it.” (Wright, quoted in Hanks 1979: 79)

With this I am not saying that I have all the answers, but I would like to describe the journey that I have made as one possible route to creatively combining the old and the new skills and tools. I define myself as a Maker, someone happy to explore the overlapping grey area between art, design and craft.

Over the years I developed the traditional skills of a potter. For the past few years I have been learning to transfer these skills to some new tools, hoping to realise their creative potential. However, for over 20 years my wife and I ran a pottery studio where we designed, made and supplied masses of functional domestic ware to shops, galleries and stores such as Habitat in the UK and Barneys in the US and Japan. The work we produced was decorative and functional. So over time I developed the craft skills and tacit knowledge required to produce lively pots.

These pots are very much about the materials and processes that I used to make them. I was trying to freeze a moment in time, capture a curve with grace and energy and record the effects of flame interacting with rich lead glazes. However, in the 1990s, the work began to move away from the purely functional. I started creating pieces that investigated the abstract nature of forms, using surface treatment to create harmony or disharmony and to create illusion and uncertainty for the viewer.

Alongside my love of ceramics I had been developing an interest in digital technology. When websites came about, I thought it would be useful to have one. I wanted to design the website myself so I went to an evening class and learned to write HTML code. I discovered that it involved a different way of thinking, a different way of problem solving than what I was used to as a ceramicist. And I had also heard of something then called Rapid Prototyping, which referred to digital techniques for creating 3D prototypes. So I thought ‘Fantastic, I can make anything!’ But how could I bring these two worlds together?

In 2006 I was fortunate to be accepted by the Royal College of Art to undertake an MPhil research project. I needed a break from running the pottery business in order to develop the ideas that had been bubbling away for a number of years.

At this stage I started using CAD software and found it to be a very useful tool for exploring variations of a form. It makes it easy to develop numerous iterations of an idea, and, even though the virtual is no replacement for the actual, there is enough visual information to determine whether the geometry and proportions are going to work in reality.

Once I was happy with a design on screen, I could translate the virtual into the actual using traditional pottery methods. Through this investigation, I could explore the relationship between the traditional craft skills that I had amassed over the previous 20 years and the new digital tools that I had become interested in. In an early RCA project I tried to create a Torus form using traditional techniques, but I could not achieve the exact shape, scale and control over the proportions that I was looking for. So I began exploring a number of iterations of the form using Rhino CAD software, returning to the wheel at each stage to throw what I had virtually created on the computer. Once satisfied with the form of the piece, I then had a full-scale model produced by CNC milling, which shapes the object with high precision. From the resulting prototype, I cast a mould and then slip-casted the object from that. The final outcome of the project is called The Event Horizon, and I still hope it engages viewers in a sensory experience, rather than encouraging them to focus on how the work is made.

After this exploration of how traditional and digital tools can be creatively brought together, I came to the conclusion that they are only tools and that there has to be a reason for using them, whether it be a desire to explore, an idea to communicate or a problem to solve.

My final practical research project at the Royal College of Art was the first fully digital piece that I made. I believe it gives insight into the thinking and the craft that went into its production.

The project was intended to test the digital software and hardware, but I also wanted to tell a story with the work. I decided to redesign an iconic object from the first Industrial Revolution. Inspired by Josiah Wedgwood, the great ceramic innovator of the eighteenth century, I chose a tureen from the 1817 catalogue. I recreated it on Rhino software and gave it a delicately pierced surface inspired by bone and the natural objects used by Wedgwood and his contemporaries as sources of inspiration for many of their designs. The pierced surface also refers to the artificial bone produced by Additive Manufacturing for medical reconstructive surgery.

The tureen was printed on a ZCorp 3D printing machine in a type of plaster material. It was then infiltrated to give the plaster material more strength and then coated in a proprietary non-fired ceramic material, formulated to closely resemble Wedgwood Black Basalt.. For some versions I used traditional Wedgewood colours, like the pale blue we know from Jasperware pieces, and sometimes I used very strong modern colours.

The next project I did was based on a 1766 Sèvres porcelain jar with a lid, which I found on display in the Wallace Collection in London. Through this piece, I wanted to explore the cultural and financial value of objects. Its theme is pretence, but it also explores making and the importance of skills. I wanted to compare the materials and processes used in the manufacture of the two pieces. The original Sèvres piece is made of porcelain, a beautiful but non-precious material that has been skilfully fashioned by artisans. At the time when it was made, porcelain had been given enormous cultural and financial status, primarily through the patronage of the French Royal Court.

In contrast, my response is made of nylon, a useful but simple everyday material. The design took me about 150 hours to create on the computer. It was then printed using extremely expensive technology, coated in non-fired ceramic material and then carefully decorated with artificial gold leaf. It is now in a private collection in New York, appropriately displayed alongside an Andy Warhol painting. So how do we equate value and worth? And how does craft fit into the calculation? These are questions I try to address through my work.

Today there is an ever-expanding array of new high-tech tools at our disposal. They are all worthy of exploration, but I do not want to use them just because they are glitzy and new. They must enable me to convert an idea into a meaningful object. And I hope that my practice plays a part in demonstrating that the making of thoughtful objects – whether they are categorised as art, craft, design or some hybrid – is a process and must be responsive in order to make those disciplines relevant to the times in which we live.



Hanks, David A. (1979) The Decorative Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mineola, NY: Courier Dover Publications.

Lunenfeld, Peter. (2001), Snap to Grid: A User’s Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures, 1st ed., Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

MacFarlane, Robert (2013) The Old Ways, London: Penguin.


[1] Reith Lecture, 2013. BBC Radio 4, 05 November 2013.
[2] Ibid.

The Language of Process

'The Language of Process: how new materials and technologies are changing product design' is the current exhibition in the Special Collections section of the All Saints Library of Manchester Metropolitan University. The exhibition ends on December 20th.

 

I was asked to speak at the opening -


I am a maker; I could call myself a designer, a craftsman or an artist, but I prefer the term Maker, as in Creator; someone who straddles the grey area between those disciplines.
So that’s the perspective from which I view the ‘Language of Process’ exhibition.

To those of you who have been along to the exhibition, it may appear to be a strange selection of odd items. Some objects on display are practical and functional, others whimsical. Many are aesthetically pleasing, yet one or two might be described as ugly. So why have they been brought together?

I feel strongly that this exhibition provides extremely timely evidence of the emergence of a new language of making, where the traditional barriers between craft and design are dissolving.

A lot of the objects on show have been created using new and emerging digital technology. Employing these new machines is not a case of simply pressing the button, as many people seem to think. They are expensive and sophisticated, but they are just tools, with all the same idiosyncrasies as traditional tools. And that is part of the attraction for me and the new generation of makers who are leading the way by making these machines do what we want them to.

As all makers know, we have to explore materials and processes in order to develop the skills and sensibilities necessary to turn an idea into a resolved 3-dimensional object.  And we don’t stop exploring; the journey never ends. As a potter I was never totally satisfied with what came out of the kiln; we search for a perfection that we will never achieve. That’s what gets us up in the morning. And it’s this striving, this insatiable curiosity that attracts us to explore new ways of making.

But why is this important? For me, craft and design aren’t just about the creation of beautiful bespoke objects, The most inclusive definition of these activities and one that I subscribe to is ‘the application of creative thinking and tacit knowledge to solve a problem’. Which means that we engage with them from morning ‘til night; we rely on those skills from birth to death, the midwife and the gravedigger employ them; they are fundamental to our very existence and we all have the potential to exercise them. One example of this is my dentist. He was telling me of the part that craft knowledge plays in his work. He regards it as a fundamental and central part of his skill, something that was kindled not at Dental School but as a teenager in the Art Department.
So, it’s fundamental that students at all stages are allowed to get to grips with materials and processes and not just sit in front of the computer screen.

Take another, closer look at this exhibition. You’ll see designers really getting down and dirty with messy materials, and craftspeople hacking technology. The rulebook is being thrown away and it points to a healthy future of innovation and creative thinking.

Manchester School of Art is very fortunate in having traditional workshops and increasing digital making and research facilities. They go hand in hand, the new tools do not replace the old.  And they are both vital if our students are going to play their part in the UK’s economic revival. The doors of the workshops must be open to all and I would hang a big sign in each of them, simply saying ‘What if…’

MMU could be an important cradle of the next Industrial Revolution as long as the teaching and provision of resources not only embrace the present cutting edge, as seen in this exhibition, but also helps to shape the future direction of craft and design.
I don’t see this activity centered solely on the Art School. The projects that I’m involved in MIRIAD are in conjunction with material scientists, Learning Innovation and Engineering, including a project to formulate 3D printable Graphene. There’s a lot of common ground to be shared between the disciplines, but we can also challenge and stretch each other and that’s where the advances happen.

I hope I’m preaching to the converted, so if you have any influence on decision makers at any level please bring them along to the ‘Language of Process’. Show them the beauty, the skill, the innovation and the creative thinking. This must be one of the most tangible ways to demonstrate that Innovative Making has an exciting and rightful future in the cultural heart of this University.

Long Live the Revolution!

I was recently asked to take part in a panel discussion during the Design Manchester 13 Festival at Manchester School of Art -

Here we are at the beginning of an exciting new Industrial Revolution and there is an opportunity not only to make things that were previously impossible, but also to right some of the wrongs of the previous Revolution.

Before the First Industrial Revolution, the way things were made was essentially by craft production; the local potter would make earthenware for the kitchen and dairy; the blacksmith would make and repair tools for the garden and the farm.

Architecture was essentially vernacular, as materials were obtained locally and buildings were shaped by the limitations of stone, slate and wood.

Regional styles developed in response to local needs and were refined over time, producing architecture and artefacts that we now value for their simplicity, their truth to materials and their ecological impact.

I’m not trying to paint a rose-tinted picture of life before 1760; it was grim up north for the majority of the population. The Industrial Revolution improved standards for a section of society, however, I think we would all agree that life since then wasn’t and still isn’t a bed of roses for everyone.

And we are now facing the ecological backlash of 250 years of progress.
This time around, things might be different.

My particular interest is the creation of art craft and design using new and emerging digital technology. It allows me to make objects impossible to produce when I was a production potter. 3-D printing has enabled me to unleash my imagination and create artworks that challenge the definitions of art, craft and design.

But 3-D printing isn’t just about making beautiful, bespoke objects. It holds far more potential.

With 3D printing, ideas can be transformed into objects without the need to produce costly moulds and tooling. The only way manufacturers can justify that sort of expense is by manufacturing in large volumes. In our revolution, batch production and the one-off are ways forward, whether it’s a personalized light fitting or a replacement knee. Customisation and individualisation are not only possible but to be encouraged as an enhanced sense of ownership must mean that the product is likely to be cherished more than an off-the-shelf, generic version.

And the Internet allows for distributed manufacture. So, we don’t need shiploads of identical products crossing the oceans. Instead, you could cycle down to your 21st century version of the local blacksmith (perhaps now renamed as a Codesmith) to collect your freshly printed stuff. Or, make it at home on your own printer.

Another advantage over traditional reductive processes is that there is far less waste in Additive Manufacturing, as leftover material is re-used.

And this time the technology isn’t in the hands of an elite minority. Tinkers and hackers are busy stripping down, re-jigging the technology, and making it accessible to a wider community of makers.

This all sounds rosy, doesn’t it? If I was little less positive and little more sceptical I might be describing the risks to our revolution, from vested interests through to nasty and dangerous applications.

This revolution is still at a very early stage, but if it is going to make a positive difference we need to encourage widespread innovation.

We need a 21st century version of the Lunar Society, meeting by the full moon not only to discuss the technology, but the social implications as well.

Perhaps they could write a manifesto? It could go something like this:

1. Cloud computing will put tools into the hands of the proletariat.
2. 3D printing will democratize design; everyone will be a designer.
3. All data will be open source.
4. Hacking of technology will be encouraged.


I’m sure you could all think of a few more.

The Second (Third or Fourth?) Industrial Revolution...

As part of Design Manchester 13, I was asked to sit on a panel to discuss the implications of the Second Industrial Revolution. (As you can tell, I'm not sure which Industrial Revolution this is, but that's besides the point.)

I wrote a few words, which as I thought about them, raised more questions than answered them. However, they are a useful starting point for lectures I'm giving this month at the Parson's School of Design in New York and at the Norwegian Crafts conference in Oslo.

Second Industrial Revolution, DM13 Manchester School of Art. 30.10.13

Here we are at the beginning of an exciting new Industrial Revolution and there is an opportunity not only to make things that were previously impossible, but also to right some of the wrongs of the previous Revolution.

Before the First Industrial Revolution, the way things were made was essentially by craft production; the local potter would make earthenware for the kitchen and dairy; the blacksmith would make and repair tools for the garden and the farm.
Architecture was essentially vernacular, as materials were obtained locally and buildings were shaped by the limitations of stone, slate and wood.

Regional styles developed in response to local needs and were refined over time, producing architecture and artefacts that we now value for their simplicity, their truth to materials and their ecological impact.

I’m not trying to paint a rose-tinted picture of life before 1760; it was grim up north for the majority of the population. The Industrial Revolution improved standards for a section of society, however, I think we would all agree that life since then wasn’t and still isn’t a bed of roses for everyone.
And we are now facing the ecological backlash of 250 years of progress.

This time around, things might be different.
My particular interest is the creation of art craft and design using new and emerging digital technology. It allows me to make objects impossible to produce when I was a production potter.  3-D printing has enabled me to unleash my imagination and create artworks that challenge the definitions of art, craft and design.
But 3-D printing isn’t just about making beautiful, bespoke objects. It holds far more potential.

With 3D printing, ideas can be transformed into objects without the need to produce costly moulds and tooling. The only way manufacturers can justify that sort of expense is by manufacturing in large volumes. In our revolution, batch production and the one-off are ways forward, whether it’s a personalized light fitting or a replacement knee. Customisation and individualisation are not only possible but to be encouraged as an enhanced sense of ownership must mean that the product is likely to be cherished more than an off-the-shelf, generic version.

And the Internet allows for distributed manufacture. So, we don’t need shiploads of identical products crossing the oceans. Instead, you could cycle down to your 21st century version of the local blacksmith (perhaps now renamed as a Codesmith) to collect your freshly printed stuff. Or, make it at home on your own printer.

Another advantage over traditional reductive processes is that there is far less waste in Additive Manufacturing, as leftover material is re-used. 

And this time the technology isn’t in the hands of an elite minority. Tinkers and hackers are busy stripping down, re-jigging the technology, and making it accessible to a wider community of makers.

This all sounds rosy, doesn’t it? If I was little less positive and little more sceptical I might be describing the risks to our revolution, from vested interests through to nasty and dangerous applications.

This revolution is still at a very early stage, but if it is going to make a positive difference we need to encourage widespread innovation.
We need a 21st century version of the Lunar Society, meeting by the full moon not only to discuss the technology, but the social implications as well.

Perhaps they could write a manifesto? It could go something like this:

1.     Cloud computing will put tools into the hands of the proletariat.
2.     3D printing will democratize design; everyone will be a designer.
3.     All data will be open source.
4.     Hacking of technology will not be a criminal offence.

I’m sure you could all think of a few more.


Long Live the Revolution!

Joining the Crafts Council

27.08.13


Today was spent at the Crafts Council in London, being inducted into my new role of Maker Trustee. I spent the day in meetings with various CC folk, learning how the organization operates and being introduced to the main issues that are currently under discussion.

My relationship with the CC goes back to 1985 or 86, when Vicky and I needed to find a new market for our pots and Northern Arts provided CC sponsorship to attend the Chelsea Crafts Fair. It was the last year that it was run by Lady Phillipa Powell, before the Crafts Council took over the show. It was a great success and exactly the type of support that we required at the time. 
In the 1990’s we received 2 travel grants from Northern Arts; the first took us on an extended tour of Hungary to look at traditional slipware. The trip resulted in our work developing in a new, unexpected direction and the writing of a book on contemporary slipware, the research for which was assisted by our second travel grant from Northern Arts. As you will have gathered, the support we had was well-targeted and brought about significant changes to our practice, revitalizing it and ensuring its longevity.
After the Labour goverment came to power in 1997, the Arts Council subsumed the Crafts Council, and my perception was that the organization had lost its autonomy, its efficacy had been diluted and its very existence was uncertain. The move out to Islington (hardly remote!) and the closure of the gallery and the shop at the V&A seemed to support my doubts and the Crafts Council slowly faded from my consciousness. 
However, the past few years have seen resurgence, both in CC activity and interest in craft. Take the ‘Powerof Making’ exhibition, co-curated by the CC and V&A. It attracted 340,000 people; one of the most popular shows ever held at the V&A. There was everything from dry-stone walling to 3D printing and a plethora of exquisite objects that I really wanted to get my hands on. 
For me, the exhibition demonstrated the common language of all makers and how a thatcher in Somerset is engaged in the same thought processes as I am with all my high-tech gear. We share the same approach to materials, processes and techniques and take pride in our ability to use creative thinking to produce meaningful work. The exhibition also demonstrated that ‘making’ is innate; it’s something that is hard-wired in our DNA and has enduring appeal.
So it’s a great time to be involved with the Crafts Council and as a Maker Trustee I am very keen to pass on your thoughts to the board. I am interested to hear about your perception of the CC, whether you feel it represents you as a maker and the type of activities you would like it to be engaged in.

The Future is Here?


The September/ October issue of Crafts Magazine (244) has 2 articles that question the place of 3D printing within the Crafts world. Edwin Heathcote is seriously underwhelmed by the Design Museum’s The Future is Here: A New IndustrialRevolution. He emphasizes what I presume he thinks of as an abuse of the technology in the range of ’ugly, over-engineered and under-thought objects, desperate to convince us that here is a technology that will change the world.’ Though I haven’t seen the exhibition, I suspect that the choice of exhibits is at fault, as I do believe we have a new way of making things that will allow advances in design and manufacturing. I wonder if the exhibition includes examples of 3D printed bio-compatible materials that allow reconstruction of body parts such as the trachea for patients recovering from cancer surgery, or relatively simple objects such as optimized Airbus door hinges that reduce fuel consumption by $1000 a year?
Geoffrey Mann thinks there’s ‘danger in going digital’. Both Heathcote and Mann question the digital aesthetic and the constraints of materials available to 3D printers, but as Mann points out, ‘We’re only at the beginning, surely the best is yet to come’.
I for one would certainly go along with that.

Which brings me to the direction of my own work. For some time I have had the same concerns, and though I have tried to use the technology to make work that doesn’t shout ‘3D printed’ at first sight, it still feels as though it can go further in being integrated with my previous practice. That, after all has been my aim all along. So how do I bring the material qualities, cultural associations and aesthetics of slipware (and other ceramic types) into the world of digital design and Additive Manufacturing? First of all, I must be careful not to lose the creative potential of AM, so the choices are:
·       Print in clay
·       Print moulds for slipcasting
·       Apply an alternative surface finish, one with other cultural associations.

The themes of my most recent work have moved on from simply making ‘impossible’ objects, based on historical ceramics to exploring how we increasingly engage with the physical world through the 2 dimensions of a screen. And no matter how high the resolution, the experience can only ever be a fraction of the real thing.

3D Printing in clay is still in its infancy. And though I’m sure it will be refined, it is not going to solve my immediate needs. Jonathan Keep, however appears to have produced a reliable ‘Computer Controlled Coiler’, (a development of the Bits from Bytes RapMan 3D printer,) that looks as though it could quite easily be scaled up to produce larger objects. I need to find out more and will be contacting him this week to discuss acquiring one, either for MIRIAD or for my personal use.

Printing moulds on a ZCorp printer is feasible, however, slipcasting relies on the cast being able to be removed from the mould, therefore it would not be possible to produce objects as complex as the ones that I have so far produced by SLS. My experiment to print pate de verre from a ZCorp mould was successful, but as the mould was destroyed in the process, only one object could be produced. However, that isn’t necessarily a problem.
The Matrix 300 paper printer at MIRIAD holds possibilities for producing models from which moulds can be taken. There are limitations, particularly the printing of finely detailed objects as small pieces of paper are prone to clog up the workings, bringing the machine to a grinding, ugly halt!

Applying an alternative surface finish could be a temporary way forward, but the connection to my previous ceramic practice would be broken. So I’m not keen on that route at the present time.

More thoughts to follow…