Saturday, 2 October 2010

Digital Ceramics

Madam will be teaching two courses of Digital Ceramics at the AA this coming academic year, where students will embark on a rather messy path of experimentation in plaster, clay and glazes.

Term 1 will be pushing the limits of what can be done working with press and 1-part moulds, with the following term breaking out into objects more fully three dimensional, and using 2, 3 or more part moulds.

After designing in the computer, we will have free access to the school's smaller cnc milling suite, and will test what the limits and idiosyncracies of the machine can bring to the clay-forming process.

Before the start of the course, we ran through a few tests with these two Madam tile-types.

Restraining ourselves to an unusually monochrome sheen, so that we could test the fundamental procedure from milling machine to kiln, the series that we produced came out looking rather techno-hokey.

So there will be a good 6 months period during which the aa will be seeing lots of painted clay, tiles and proliferating ceramic forms and architectural elements, as well as Marco and I hanging around quite a bit as assistants to Diploma 9.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Adam, It is interesting to see your trial using the CNC milling machine at the AA for creating a plaster mould. Ultimately the quality of the finish you get in ceramic is dependent on the smoothness you achieve in the mould. This will get even more critical when you attempt 2 or three part moulds which will require near 90º angles and milled surfaces which need to register up to one another. I talked to Matthew Lewis at Metropolitan Works who suggested that with 2 or three part moulds it might be easier to mill the Case (the mould of the mould). This would involve making each half as a positive form out of your lumps of material and then running your plaster two part mould from these millings.
    It is a little unclear from your photos how smooth the surface of the plaster was after it had been milled and it certainly covered well in glaze firing. But I wondered if using jewellers wax to make a case would provide a less granular surface. You could then run a plaster 2 or three part mould from these wax millings.
    Good to hear about your project and I look forward to hearing about your progress.
    Regards David Richardson