Wedgwoodn’t by Michael Eden

| 16 comments

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Michael Eden created the Wedgwoodn't tureen by using rapid manufacturing and ceramic materials which don't need firing.

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A research student in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in London, Eden has been experimenting with methods of 3D printing using digital data to create ceramic objects with the same properties as conventional ceramics.

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Visit the project blog for more information.

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Here's some text from Eden:

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Josiah Wedgwoodn’t have been able to undertake this project, but as one of the fathers of the first Industrial Revolution he would certainly be at the forefront of the current Industrial Revolution if he were here today.

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The Second Industrial Revolution:
Rapid manufacture [RM] and rapid prototyping [RP] are methods of 3D printing using digital data. A range of materials, from plaster, starch and plastics through to some metals can now be fabricated with increased precision and speed. As yet there are few ceramic materials for use in RM.

The technology has advanced dramatically over the past twenty years and is talked about as the Second Industrial Revolution, yet the present stage of its development is the first Industrial Revolution equivalent to the year 1800.

My entry for the RSA Ceramic Futures competition uses RP and highly innovative ceramic materials to reproduce an iconic ceramic object from the first Industrial Revolution in a way that was impossible in the early 1800’s.

A Ceramic Revolution:
The Wedgwoodn’t project applies new ceramic materials that convert a fragile RP model into a durable product with the same material properties as conventional ceramics. They are non-toxic, food safe, frost resistant, acid and alkali resistant and act as a gas barrier. They can be stained with organic, inorganic or metallic pigments and do not require firing.

Creative Potential:
As RP and RM technology advances and costs fall, there is a vast, untapped creative potential for the application of this technology in the both the industrial and independent sectors of ceramics. The benefits are potentially enormous:

  • The application of high specification ceramic materials to products not normally associated with ceramics, from buildings and street furniture to decorative and functional domestic products through to medical uses.
  • Freedom for independent ceramic designers and artists to produce work without the usual constraints of expensive equipment and the need to acquire material knowledge which often takes many years. This will give designers the ability to work from anywhere with a broadband connection.
  • Freedom from the constraints of traditional manufacturing techniques will allow designers to create forms that were previously impossible or extremely expensive to produce.
  • Customisation of designs, with no retooling costs.
  • Reduction in the transport of goods as production can be arranged nearest to the customer.

The Wedgwoodn’t tureen has been created as a metaphorical object to demonstrate some of these benefits.

| 16 comments

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 7:36 pm by . See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • http://www.thefoodpornographer.com/ Jeanette Exner

    Form without function. That’s one tureen I would not try serving soup in.

  • K. Rimane

    very nice and quite impressive. great work

  • http://www.labforfun.com labforfun

    Impressive! I want one of this RM machines… now!

  • Ryan

    Great stuff Mike

  • Fling

    It is ironic that not one of the Wedgwoodn’t metaphorical objects holds water, literally. I would also contest that these forms used to be ‘impossible’ to produce – there was probably not a huge market circa first industrial revolution for a tureen that your soup spilled out of. It is the third industrial revolution that promotes a need for Shite That Does Not Function.
    Someone tell me I am missing the point.

  • Zenza

    Cool stuff!

  • CPCP

    Presumably the point of these is simply to show the potential of RM and ceramic RP’s …
    but yes the rise of cheap mass-produced-yet-one-off products which are customisable as standard will inevitably result in a lot of crap and useless tack.

  • edward

    Ancient proverb say, "One small wind can raise much dust."

    The perforations display the intricacy the system is capable of is my interpretation. That the creations of a bygone era were chosen as a demonstration should be taken metaphorically, rather than literally as an attempt to produce a usable item. ;-)

  • John

    Harry Potter’s gobblet of fire.

  • jed

    “It is ironic that not one of the Wedgwoodn’t metaphorical objects holds water, literally.”

    perhaps you mean apposite rather than ironic… but i agree.

  • tiffany

    bad art?
    decoration kitsch?

  • http://deucedesign.com.au Emerson

    Has anyone ever used a Wedgewood item for anything? Past or present? This is a fashion item. Do you really think the fact that it cannot hold liquid is an oversight? Are you people insane?

  • edward

    Duh…lookit, that thing won’t hold water!

  • tiffany

    Emerson: Yes, my parents use Wedgewood. And if you design something like this it’s worse than the original. Only a brain older than my parents, say late 19th century, can come up with something this bourgeois, which totally lacks of creativity and intelligence. Stap back in the past. Real antique is better

  • Joaquin

    Emerson: I agree. Fling: I disagree. These are experimental objects, named after the Wedgewood. You don’t expect ur grandparents to buy Starck’s collections rite? If Dezeen posts a very functional item or architecture, u guys wud dub ‘em boring still. I guess it’s those who still stick to functionalism who’s ancient, say, Adolf Loo’s children?

    This guy’s majoring ceramic, which means he’s more an artist, and as much as I believe a design must be functional, I can’t find a single ‘design’ word in the excerpt.

    Most importantly, it’s how you analyze each project. This is a transitional project, experimental and thought provoking!

  • El Greco

    Excellent manufacturing technique.

    Interesting coral-like patterns.

    Post-modern reference a bit tired.