Portals

Portals

Portals was commissioned by The National Museum of Scotland for the opening of the newly refurbished  Art, Design and fashion galleries.

Portal may refer to:

·      A magical or technological doorway that connects two locations, dimensions, or points in time.

·      Portal (architecture), a gate, door, or the extremities (ends) of a tunnel.

Portals is my response to the above definitions, particularly in relation to the National Museum of Scotland, where entering the building has a transformative effect. The visitor becomes a time traveller, moving between the early days of the universe through the evolution of life on earth to the creation of cultures and complex societies. 

Portals also reflects my interest in the cultural role that architecture plays in society. Buildings are more than just stone or steel, slate or glass, they have meaning beyond the physical. They make statements, reflect their creator’s personality and polarise opinion.

Inspired by C19th architectural models, Portals is a hybridisation of the museum’s architectural styles, demonstrating that life is change and that museums not only illuminate the past, but shine a light into the future. 

You can read more about the piece here on the National Museum of Scotland's website.

 

Collection of the National Museum of Scotland, acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London

Portals

Portals

Portals was commissioned by The National Museum of Scotland for the opening of the newly refurbished  Art, Design and Fashion galleries.

Portal may refer to:

·      A magical or technological doorway that connects two locations, dimensions, or points in time.

·      Portal (architecture), a gate, door, or the extremities (ends) of a tunnel.

Portals is my response to the above definitions, particularly in relation to the National Museum of Scotland, where entering the building has a transformative effect. The visitor becomes a time traveller, moving between the early days of the universe through the evolution of life on earth to the creation of cultures and complex societies.  

Portals also reflects my interest in the cultural role that architecture plays in society. Buildings are more than just stone or steel, slate or glass, they have meaning beyond the physical. They make statements, reflect their creator’s personality and polarise opinion.

Inspired by C19th architectural models, Portals is a hybridisation of the museum’s architectural styles, demonstrating that life is change and that museums not only illuminate the past, but shine a light into the future. 

You can read more about the piece here on the National Museum of Scotland's website.

 

Collection of the National Museum of Scotland, acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London

The Innovo Vase 2016

The Innovo Vase 2016

I was approached by Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see whether I was interested in interpreting The Stowe Vase, a  Roman marble vase that the museum has in its collection.

As an artist, being presented with a new project is always an exciting challenge. It is an opportunity explore unfamiliar territory and engage with new ideas. And this was certainly an opportunity that I was very happy to engage with.

The Stowe Vase: From Ancient Art to Additive Manufacturing

May 29th - September 5th 2016

Collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London

The Innovo Vase, 2016 (detail)

The Innovo Vase, 2016 (detail)

I particularly like this photograph, as it shows the relationship between 2D and 3D. As the marble vase is so complex, I based my interpretation on the etchings of Giovanni Piranesi, who was responsible for the restoration of the Stowe Vase after it was excavated from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli near Rome. 

The Stowe Vase: From Ancient Art to Additive Manufacturing

May 29th - September 5th 2016

Collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London

Installation photo of Michael Eden's Innovo Vase, 2016, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Viveca Paulin-Ferrell and Will Ferrell, Alice and Nahum Lainer, Shannon and Peter Loughrey, and Heidi Wettenhall and Said Saffari through the 2016 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisitions Committee (DA²) (M.2016.205), © Michael Eden, photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Elements, 2016

Elements, 2016

Elements is my response to the diverse and wide-ranging collections in the National Museum of Scotland, particularly focusing on Homo Faber, Man the Maker.

Since the earliest times humankind has created tools as a means of doing things that hands alone cannot achieve, resulting in materials and processes that have shaped the world around us.

I have used an architectural detail from the newly refurbished galleries as a way of bringing together arts, science and technology.

Elements is comprised of 2 groups of elements from the periodic table, the first being Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O) and Nitrogen (N), together being the basis of life on earth. This group also contains F, the symbol for phi or the Golden Section, the mathematical equation that governs growth and form in nature.

The second group is made up of Iron (Fe), Carbon (C), Silicon (Si), Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca), the elements that are brought together in the making of cast iron and steel, from which the galleries are largely constructed.

My aim has been to demonstrate the ingenuity of the human species in the development of materials, processes and tools which combined with an innate sense of design has created the array of marvellous objects that can be seen in this museum.

 

Private Collection, acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London

Elements, 2016

Elements, 2016

Elements is my response to the diverse and wide-ranging collections in the National Museum of Scotland, particularly focusing on Homo Faber, Man the Maker.

Since the earliest times humankind has created tools as a means of doing things that hands alone cannot achieve, resulting in materials and processes that have shaped the world around us.

I have used an architectural detail from the newly refurbished galleries as a way of bringing together arts, science and technology.

Elements is comprised of 2 groups of elements from the periodic table, the first being Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O) and Nitrogen (N), together being the basis of life on earth. This group also contains F, the symbol for phi or the Golden Section, the mathematical equation that governs growth and form in nature.

The second group is made up of Iron (Fe), Carbon (C), Silicon (Si), Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca), the elements that are brought together in the making of cast iron and steel, from which the galleries are largely constructed.

My aim has been to demonstrate the ingenuity of the human species in the development of materials, processes and tools which combined with an innate sense of design has created the array of marvellous objects that can be seen in this museum.

 

Private collection, acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London

Aphrodite, 2016

Aphrodite, 2016

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from  nylon, encased in patinated copper.

Height 40cm (15 3/4") Width 34cm (13 3/8") Depth 21.5cm (8 1/2")

Available through Adrian Sassoon.

The inspiration for the Aphrodite vessel is centred on celebration and creativity. The form is taken from a type of Greek pottery, known as a kantharos, typically a deep bowl on a pedestal foot with over-sized handles, flaring high up the lip of the pot. They were associated with Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility and often used for ritual drinking or offerings.

I was also attracted the lively, graphic illustration which reminded me of some of the work of Roy Lichtenstein and the way he often illustrated a scene from an unfolding drama.

Aphrodite was chosen to create the structure of the vessel, as she is the Greek goddess of love, beauty and procreation. Some sources believe that the Three Graces were the offspring of Dionysus and Aphrodite.

I based my version of Aphrodite on a marble bust, known as the Bartlett Head now in the San Antonio Museum of Art. It was given a Lichtenstein makeover in Photoshop and then translated from a 2D image to 3D in Rhino 3D CAD software.

Aphrodite, 2016 (detail of Aphrodite's face)

Aphrodite, 2016 (detail of Aphrodite's face)

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from  nylon, encased in patinated copper

Height 40cm (15 3/4") Width 34cm (13 3/8") Depth 21.5cm (8 1/2")

Available from Adrian Sassoon.

Voxel Vessel X 2016

Voxel Vessel X 2016

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from  nylon material with a white soft mineral coating and palladium leaf interior

Height 47cm (18 1/2") Width 39cm (15 3/8") Depth 31cm (12 1/4")

Private Collection, The Hague. Acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London. 

Soho

Soho

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material with a white soft mineral coating 

Height 58cm (22 3/4") Width 36cm (14 1/8") Depth 35cm (13 3/4")

This work is exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 28th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

The title of this piece refers to both Soho House and the Soho Manufactory, both located in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Soho House was the elegant home of industrial pioneer Matthew Boulton, who lived there from 1766 to 1809. He was very keen on new inventions and the house is probably the first in England to have a central heating system installed since Roman times. In addition, he had a vast steam heated bath installed and indoor flushing toilets. Within the House there are displays of silver, coins and ormolu produced in the Soho Manufactory, which was one of the world’s first factories.

Soho House was a regular venue for the meeting for the leading eighteenth century intellectuals of the Lunar Society, a group of free thinking scientists and industrialists including Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt, and William Withering.

The Dining Room at Soho House is also known as the Lunar Room and it is where the Lunar Society met. The meetings held here were lively affairs, where all the latest ideas and inventions were discussed and scientific experiments carried out. Their meetings took place at the time of the full moon, which enabled members to proceed home by its light. 

The Soho Vase encapsulates the activities of the Lunar Society by making reference to the activities of the group, which not only revolved around manufacturing, but included exploration of the natural world and humanitarian concerns such as slavery, with members actively campaigning for its abolition. I have used various motifs to symbolize their activities, such as hammers and nuts and bolts for manufacturing and foxglove flowers that were used in the distillation of digoxin, still utilized in the treatment of some heart conditions.  

The Lunar Society made an enormous impact on life towards the end of the 18th century, largely due to their wide ranging interests that treated the arts, humanities and sciences as compatible equals, a view that we would do well to return to.

Soho - detail

Soho - detail

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material with a white soft mineral coating 

Height 58cm (22 3/4") Width 36cm (14 1/8") Depth 35cm (13 3/4")

This work is exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 27th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

 

The title of this piece refers to both Soho House and the Soho Manufactory, both located in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Soho House was the elegant home of industrial pioneer Matthew Boulton, who lived there from 1766 to 1809. He was very keen on new inventions and the house is probably the first in England to have a central heating system installed since Roman times. In addition, he had a vast steam heated bath installed and indoor flushing toilets. Within the House there are displays of silver, coins and ormolu produced in the Soho Manufactory, which was one of the world’s first factories.

Soho House was a regular venue for the meeting for the leading eighteenth century intellectuals of the Lunar Society, a group of free thinking scientists and industrialists including Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt, and William Withering.

The Dining Room at Soho House is also known as the Lunar Room and it is where the Lunar Society met. The meetings held here were lively affairs, where all the latest ideas and inventions were discussed and scientific experiments carried out. Their meetings took place at the time of the full moon, which enabled members to proceed home by its light. 

The Soho Vase encapsulates the activities of the Lunar Society by making reference to the activities of the group, which not only revolved around manufacturing, but included exploration of the natural world and humanitarian concerns such as slavery, with members actively campaigning for its abolition. I have used various motifs to symbolize their activities, such as hammers and nuts and bolts for manufacturing and foxglove flowers that were used in the distillation of digoxin, still utilized in the treatment of some heart conditions. 

The Lunar Society made an enormous impact on life towards the end of the 18th century, largely due to their wide ranging interests that treated the arts, humanities and sciences as compatible equals, a view that we would do well to return to.

Nautilus

Nautilus

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material encased in patinated copper

Height 23.5cm (9 1/4") Width 34.5cm (13 5/8") Depth 26.5cm (10 3/8")

This work is exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 27th 2016

Private Collection, UK. Acquired through Adrian Sassoon, London. 

At some stage during the history of mankind it was noticed that objects that are pleasing to the eye conform to certain mathematical proportions. The growth and formation of plants and animals are governed by these principles and when applied to manufactured objects they are usually aesthetically agreeable.

These mathematical principles have become known as the Golden Section and have been used to create basic geometries in architecture, the Parthenon being a well known example and in Fine Art, where landscape and portrait painting often conform by the careful placing of key elements.

Named after the Italian mathematician Fibonacci, there is a sequence of numbers that all conform the same principle:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 25, 34, 89, 144 etc. If a number in the sequence is divided by the preceding number, the answer comes to 1.62.

This sequence can be used to produce a construction known as the Golden Spiral, seen in nature in pine cones, sunflowers, cauliflower florets etc. It is also thought to be seen in the Nautilus shell, though in actual fact, it doesn’t quite conform.

The Nautilus that I created is made up of the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, arranged in order from the centre. I designed an aesthetically pleasing form that emphasises the relationship between the arts and sciences, brought together through mathematics. The tools I used to make the piece are in themselves a result of the application of mathematics, physics, and material knowledge, borne from a creative urge to find new ways to make complex objects that cannot be achieved by any other method.

Nautilus was designed using Rhino 3D CAD software, then 3D printed in nylon, after which it was metaised in copper and given a patinated surface treatment.

Perspectiva, 2015

Perspectiva, 2015

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material encased in patinated copper

Height 39cm (15 3/8") Width 25cm (9 7/8") Depth 19cm (7 1/2")

This work is currently exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 27th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

The title of this piece comes from the Perspectiva Corporum Regularium or Perspective of the Regular Solids by Wenzel Jamnitzer, a 16th century Austrian goldsmith, designer, etcher and inventor of scientific instruments.

It describes the basic 5 regular platonic solids that were thought to be the building blocks of all matter.

"Jamnitzer created an extraordinary collection of both regular and semi-regular bodies in his Perspective of Regular Solids (1568) which, as he explained in his title, was based on Plato's Timaeus and Euclid's Elements. Accordingly, he associated the tetrahedron with fire, octahedron with air, hexahedron with earth, icosahedron with water and dodecahedron with heaven respectively. Using a "particular new adroit method never before in use" he provided six regular, six truncated, six stellated and six double stellated variants for each of the regular solids to create a total of 120 versions which, as he pointed out in his long title, was but an 'introduction how, out of these five bodies, many other bodies of various kinds and shapes may be made and found without end'."[1]

I used one of these pieces as the starting point for the Perspectiva , created to explore how mankind’s desire to explore the natural world through science and mathematics is often poetically and artistically expressed.

The structure of my piece is made up of chemical symbols for various elements, including clay, a material that has been employed throughout the past 40,000 years and documents the way in which craft and material knowledge are used to express changing human values.

 

[1] Jamnitzer perspectiva (online). Available at http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/jamnitzer-perspectiva.html (Accessed 12.09.2015)

The Watt Vase

The Watt Vase

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material encased in patinated copper

Height 45.5cm (17 7/8") Diameter 30cm (11 3/4")

This work is exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 27th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon

James Watt’s name is associated with the steam engine, which became the chief power source of the Industrial Revolution after he made improvements to the less efficient Newcomen steam engine.

He was a member of the Lunar Society, a group of free thinking scientists and industrialists including Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and William Withering that met together during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The meetings were lively affairs, where all the latest ideas and inventions were discussed and scientific experiments carried out. The Lunar Society made an enormous impact, largely due to their wide ranging interests that treated the arts, humanities and sciences as compatible equals.

After running a success business with Matthew Boulton, he spent his retirement experimenting with new methods of reproducing classical sculptures. In his Heathfield house workshop, Watt created 2 copying machines, “one to make reduced-size copies of an original, while the second was intended to make equal-size copies, a much more difficult technical proposition.”[1]

Whilst on a recent visit to the Science Museum in London, I saw a display of Watt’s workbench alongside which were a group of busts also found in his Heathfield workshop. One piece stood out, a bust of the man himself. However, this one was produced by 3D printing as the “original mould was too fragile to allow a plaster cast to be taken. So it was examined with a colour triangulation scanner to produce a perfect digital 'cast', enabling a sculpture to be created.”[2]

It made me wonder how James Watt would have employed the the new technologies that we now have as makers, artists and designers. So the James Watt vase was created to bring these two worlds together, using classical references, a portrait of James Watt, 3D printing and a bespoke metalising process. 

 

[1] Russell, B. (2014) James Watt, Making the World Anew. Reaktion Books, 2014. P.206

[2] Scientists create sculpture of Industrial Revolution engineer James Watt using 3D technology, 2011. (Online) Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1359057/James-Watt-Scientists-create-sculpture-Industrial-Revolution-engineer-using-3D-technology.html (Accessed 12.09.15)

The Watt Vase - detail

The Watt Vase - detail

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material encased in patinated copper

Height 45.5cm (17 7/8") Diameter 30cm (11 3/4")

This work is exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 28th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon

James Watt’s name is associated with the steam engine, which became the chief power source of the Industrial Revolution after he made improvements to the less efficient Newcomen steam engine.

He was a member of the Lunar Society, a group of free thinking scientists and industrialists including Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and William Withering that met together during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The meetings were lively affairs, where all the latest ideas and inventions were discussed and scientific experiments carried out. The Lunar Society made an enormous impact, largely due to their wide ranging interests that treated the arts, humanities and sciences as compatible equals.

After running a success business with Matthew Boulton, he spent his retirement experimenting with new methods of reproducing classical sculptures. In his Heathfield house workshop, Watt created 2 copying machines, “one to make reduced-size copies of an original, while the second was intended to make equal-size copies, a much more difficult technical proposition.”[1]

Whilst on a recent visit to the Science Museum in London, I saw a display of Watt’s workbench alongside which were a group of busts also found in his Heathfield workshop. One piece stood out, a bust of the man himself. However, this one was produced by 3D printing as the “original mould was too fragile to allow a plaster cast to be taken. So it was examined with a colour triangulation scanner to produce a perfect digital 'cast', enabling a sculpture to be created.”[2]

It made me wonder how James Watt would have employed the the new technologies that we now have as makers, artists and designers. So the James Watt vase was created to bring these two worlds together, using classical references, a portrait of James Watt, 3D printing and a bespoke metalising process.  

 

 

 

[1] Russell, B. (2014) James Watt, Making the World Anew. Reaktion Books, 2014. P.206

[2] Scientists create sculpture of Industrial Revolution engineer James Watt using 3D technology, 2011. (Online) Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1359057/James-Watt-Scientists-create-sculpture-Industrial-Revolution-engineer-using-3D-technology.html (Accessed 12.09.15)

The Walpole Dish

The Walpole Dish

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material with a soft mineral coating and gold leaf details

Height 35cm (13 3/4") Diameter 36.5cm (14 3/8")

This work is exhibited in:
Michael Eden - History Re-Printed
The Holburne Museum, Bath

November 21st 2015 - March 27th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

"All the Geniuses of the Age are Employed in Designing New Plans for Dessert"

Horace Walpole 1750

This quotation was spotted amongst a display of fine silver and ceramic serving dishes and dinnerware in the Holburne Museum in Bath. It was written in a period of enormous change in Britain. The Industrial Revolution was underway with technological advances fuelling new production techniques; society was in transition with labourers moving from the countryside to the new manufacturing centres. A new middle class was emerging with an appetite for the fashionable products of the period.

Horace Walpole is making an observation that implies that many of his contemporaries are wasting their talent on trivia and that the demand for elaborate excess has diverted them from far more fundamental and important work that would provide a greater benefit to society in general.

The quotation appealed to me because it could describe our present situation in relation to the new Industrial Revolution of digital manufacturing. As with any exciting advance, there is a great deal of interest, but it has resulted in the production of diverse products that would be far more efficiently manufactured using appropriate and proven technologies. Having said that, experimentation with the new is to be welcomed, as it tests the technology and challenges the developers.

Full Bloom

Full Bloom