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

No. 1 in an edition of 18 in various colours

Height 34.5cm (13 5/8") Diameter 18.5cm (7 1/4")

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

The Bloom series was created to explore the potential of Additive Manufacturing in a lyrical way.

Bloom is simply a play on words: Bloom as in the flowering of a plant, referring to the growth of interest and use of AM for creative purposes and Boom, as in an explosion, referring to the effect that AM is having on traditional ways of designing and making objects.

Like the Wedgwoodn’t Tureen the form is based on an early 19th century style of Wedgwood tureens.

The Full Bloom is a development of the original Bloom edition, using a more flower-like extrusion, arranging in an overlapping pattern, creating a dynamic and elegant structure.

Curved Blooms, 2015

Curved Blooms, 2015

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon material with soft mineral coatings 

Nos. 1 and 2 in an edition of 18 in various colours

Height 38cm (15") Width 29.5cm (11 5/8") Depth 18.5cm (7 1/4")

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

November 21st 2015 - March 27th 2016

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

Flaubert, 2015

Flaubert, 2015

“In order for a thing to become interesting, one has only to look at it for a long time” Gustave Flaubert

Some while ago, I recorded this quotation in the front of my sketchbook and it has remained resonant for me. It seems to sum up how I feel about the influence of the Internet on our imagination. Those of us connected to the World Wide Web have unparalleled access to vast amounts of information and imagery. We are constantly bombarded through Instagram and other forms of social media and though we can turn it off, it does become a way of life for large numbers of people. There are undoubted positive benefits, we gain an insight in to the lives of others, and we can converse with friends, family and acquaintances almost instantly. But the relentless stream of stimuli denies us the time to absorb and reflect.

Perhaps this is why there is such a revival of interest in making things. It takes time, concentration and effort - craftsmanship, in other words, which according to Richard Bennett is ‘an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do something well for its own sake’

The making of the Flaubert piece, however might be seen as antithetical, as I use computer based 3D CAD software and highly technical Additive Layer Manufacturing [commonly known as 3D printing] to produce the artworks. However, I spent over 20 years making pots by hand, gaining the skills, knowledge and understanding of the 3-dimensional form in the process. Some of this has been adapted and transferred to the new tools that I now employ, alongside developing new craft skills. So the Flaubert piece is a vehicle for exploring these themes, whilst creating an aesthetically pleasing object that will engage the viewer for a long time.

The piece was created by converting the text of the quotation from a 2-dimensional image to 3-dimensional text that was then arranged to form the vessel. Once I was satisfied with the design on screen, the data was sent to a bureau specialising in Additive Manufacturing and the piece was manufactured using the latest Selective Laser Sintering technology. It was then encapsulated in copper using a specialised electroplating technique. I then created the verdigris patina.

The use of these new tools allows me create objects that were previously impossible to manufacture and enables me to inhabit an exciting grey area somewhere between craft, design and art.

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

Height 45cm (17 3/4") Diameter 28cm (11")

This was made especially for TEFAF 2015 and was sold at the Art Fair through Adrian Sassoon, London. Private Collection, Berlin, 2015

Flaubert, 2015

Flaubert, 2015

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing in nylon, encapsulated in copper with patina verdigris.

Shown at TEFAF Maastricht, the world's leading art fair from March 13th to 22nd. 

Constructed from a quotation by Gustave Flaubert: "In order for a thing to become interesting, one has only to look at it for a long time."

Acquired through Adrian Sassoon. Private Collection, Berlin 2015

Imari - twisted pair, 2015

Imari - twisted pair, 2015

Unique pair made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating.

 Height 32cm (13 3/4") Width 18.5cm (7 3/8") Depth 16cm (6 3/8")

A commission through Adrian Sassoon, London. Private collection, New York, USA.

Imari is the European name for Japanese porcelain wares made in the town of Arita and exported from the port of Imari in Western Japan between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century.

Typical Imari is decorated with cobalt blue underglaze with red and gold onglaze. Made only for export to the West, it was often imitated by Chinese and European potters. The example I used as a starting point for my Imari pieces is an early 19th century Davenport cup and saucer, which appealed to me both as an attractive object and as an example of the way in which fashion, styles, materials and processes have travelled the world. 

My pieces are an attempt to extend the journey of the Imari story, in this case by converting the 2-dimensional surface pattern into a 3-dimensional object, using contemporary digital technology. Images of the Imari pattern were simplified to line drawings in Photoshop, and then imported into the CAD software that I use to create these pieces. The line drawing was then reproduced and joined together to make a repeating pattern. This was then ‘projected’ onto the surface of the tureen form that I had previously created. The drawings were then extruded through the surface of the tureen and used to cut through the solid surface, leaving a pierced form. Once the piece was scaled and carefully inspected it could finally be 3D printed and given a decorative surface treatment.

Imari I, 2014

Imari I, 2014

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating

Height 30cm (11 3/4") Width 24cm (9 1/2") Depth 22cm (8 5/8")

Acquired by the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA,  through Adrian Sassoon, London.

Imari is the European name for Japanese porcelain wares made in the town of Arita and exported from the port of Imari in Western Japan between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century.

Typical Imari is decorated with cobalt blue underglaze with red and gold onglaze. Made only for export to the West, it was often imitated by Chinese and European potters. The example I used as a starting point for my Imari pieces is an early 19th century Davenport cup and saucer, which appealed to me both as an attractive object and as an example of the way in which fashion, styles, materials and processes have travelled the world. 

My pieces are an attempt to extend the journey of the Imari story, in this case by converting the 2-dimensional surface pattern into a 3-dimensional object, using contemporary digital technology. Images of the Imari pattern were simplified to line drawings in Photoshop, and then imported into the CAD software that I use to create these pieces. The line drawing was then reproduced and joined together to make a repeating pattern. This was then ‘projected’ onto the surface of the tureen form that I had previously created. The drawings were then extruded through the surface of the tureen and used to cut through the solid surface, leaving a pierced form. Once the piece was scaled and carefully inspected it could finally be 3D printed and given a decorative surface treatment.

Imari II, 2014

Imari II, 2014

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating

Height 20cm (7 7/8") Width 12cm (4 3/4") Depth 11cm (4 1/4")

Private Collection, London, 2014, through Adrian Sassoon

Imari is the European name for Japanese porcelain wares made in the town of Arita and exported from the port of Imari in Western Japan between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century.

Typical Imari is decorated with cobalt blue underglaze with red and gold onglaze. Made only for export to the West, it was often imitated by Chinese and European potters. The example I used as a starting point for my Imari pieces is an early 19th century Davenport cup and saucer, which appealed to me both as an attractive object and as an example of the way in which fashion, styles, materials and processes have travelled the world.

My pieces are an attempt to extend the journey of the Imari story, in this case by converting the 2-dimensional surface pattern into a 3-dimensional object, using contemporary digital technology. Images of the Imari pattern were simplified to line drawings in Photoshop, and then imported into the CAD software that I use to create these pieces. The line drawing was then reproduced and joined together to make a repeating pattern. This was then ‘projected’ onto the surface of the tureen form that I had previously created. The drawings were then extruded through the surface of the tureen and used to cut through the solid surface, leaving a pierced form. Once the piece was scaled and carefully inspected it could finally be 3D printed and given a decorative surface treatment.

Imari III, 2014

Imari III, 2014

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

Height 25cm (9 7/8") Diameter 21cm (8 1/4")

Acquired by the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA,  through Adrian Sassoon, London.

GSOH, 2014

GSOH, 2014

Unique object made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon material with a dark blue soft mineral coating

Height 40cm (15 3/4") Diameter 22cm (8 5/8”)

In the 19th century there was a short-lived fashion for composite ceramic pieces. Typical of these were the ‘Smoker’s Companion’, an assemblage of individual functional objects designed to fit together into a tall, imposing tower. 

Whilst visiting the Shipley Art Gallery at Gateshead in the northeast of England, I spotted another variation on the theme - a Bachelor’s Supper Set. It was made in 1867 for John McGowan in Gateshead and comprises a candlestick, goblet, plate, bowl and serving dish.

I began to imagine the life of John McGowan, dining quietly by himself and wondering if he remained a bachelor all his life.

How did a bachelor like John meet a prospective partner? Through work and family connections, I imagine. How different to our present era with Internet dating and smartphone Apps like Tinder?

So my interpretation is a 21st century comment, constructed of words taken from the Guardian newspaper’s Soul Mates column, where individuals advertise and search for potential partners, using acronyms to list their personality or the attributes they are looking for. So GSOH means Good Sense Of Humour, WLTM means Would Like To Meet and so on and so forth. 

If John McGowan was here now, would he need a Bachelor’s Supper Set?

Once I was satisfied with the design on screen, the data was sent to a bureau specialising in Additive Manufacturing and the piece was manufactured using the latest Selective Laser Sintering technology. It was then hand finished.

The use of these new tools allows me create objects that were previously impossible to manufacture and enables me to inhabit an exciting grey area somewhere between craft, design and art.

 

Available through Adrian Sassoon, London

Voxel Vessel I, 2013

Voxel Vessel I, 2013

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from a high quality nylon with a mineral soft coating and details in 24ct gold leaf

Height 35cm (13 3/4") Width 32cm (12 1/2") Depth 25cm (9 7/8")

Collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA, 2013, through Adrian Sassoon

voxel (ˈvɒksəl) 

A voxel represents a single sample, or data point, on a regularly spaced, three-dimensional grid.

The Voxel vessel explores the relationship between the actual world of real objects and the virtual world of digital technology. 

The staring point for the Voxel Vessel was the virtual tour of the Château de Fontainebleau via the Google Art Project. It allows the viewer to float through galleries and museums, and zoom in on anything that catches our fancy. Why join the queues when you can stroll through the empty galleries from the comfort of your armchair? It is an extraordinary technical achievement, a very useful tool, but it’s not the real thing, you can’t smell the oil paint and you can’t quite walk all the way round the sculptures. It is a 2D representation of the real world.

The voxel cube structure was ‘wrapped’ around a typical vase of the period, and represents the loss of sensory experience when accessing the real world through a screen. The gold interior is a reference to the beauty of the original ceramic objects and in honour of the craftsmanship in their manufacture. 

The creation of the Voxel Vessel was made using CAD 3D software over many hours and 3D printed using the latest Selective Laser Sintering technology.

Voxel Vessel II, 2013

Voxel Vessel II, 2013

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating and 24ct gold leaf interior surface

Height 30cm (11 3/4") Width 27.5cm (10 7/8") Depth 16cm (6 1/4")

Private Collection, USA, 2013, through Adrian Sassoon

Voxel Vessel III, 2013

Voxel Vessel III, 2013

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating and 24ct gold leaf interior surface

Height 30cm (11 3/4") Width 24cm (9 1/2") Depth 22cm (8 5/8")

Private Collection, London, 2014, through Adrian Sassoon

Voxel Vessel V, 2013

Voxel Vessel V, 2013

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating and coloured silver leaf interior.

Height 23cm (9") Width 18cm (7 1/8") Depth 14.5cm (5 3/4")

Purchased by The National Museum of Norway, Oslo, 2014, through Adrian Sassoon

Voxel Vessel VI, 2014

Voxel Vessel VI, 2014

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating and silver leaf interior surface

Height 30cm (11 3/4") Width 24cm (9 1/2") Depth 22cm (8 5/8")

Exhibited in ‘British Design: from William Morris to the Digital Revolution’ at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.

Available through Adrian Sassoon

Moiré Vase, 2014

Moiré Vase, 2014

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating

Height 30cm (11 3/4") Width 32cm (12 5/8") Depth 19cm (7 1/2")

Available through Adrian Sassoon

Moiré Vase II, 2014

Moiré Vase II, 2014

Made by Additive Layer Manufacturing from nylon with a mineral soft coating

Height 23cm (9") Width 25cm (9 7/8") Depth 20cm (7 7/8")

Available through Adrian Sassoon