Monday, 23 January 2017

EKWC Research Work

One of the projects I'm doing here is to make glass tools from 3D print efficiently at low cost. It turns out that ceramic is one of the best ways and one of the oldest. Researcher David Hill was kind enough to share his work on reconstructing the traditional process.  
Roman era ceramic molds for glass. C. 70 CE (Courtesy of David Hill) 

The materials and process are simple at a glance but its full of specific techniques. When done with a ton of skill, you can get this:

The famous Ennion Ewer, made from many fine-crafted mould parts. Fully reusable and highly detailed. Its not a process we tend to be taught today though, so with a lot of help from David Hill and others, I am trying to blend the advantages of 3D print with the advantages of this method. If it works, the only material costs added to the glass studio is the plastic filament and some clay. Of course as with everything in glass, time, patience and skill are the majority of it. 

Earlier in this blog I posted about using 3D printed bronze to make moulds- though it is perhaps my favorite method for speed, durability and accuracy, it costs far too much today to be usable beyond the research funding granted for that project. 
The video again is here:

* Plaster-Silica mold methods are often taught and used for this same purpose with varying additives for stability. There may be some good mixes out there but so far I haven't found any that work more than once for this kind of detail. 

EKWC - The European Ceramics Work Centre

...Another long gap in posting on this Blog, but there's an exciting chance coming up to do some more research here at the European Ceramics Work Centre in Oisterwijk, The Netherlands.

For the next three months, I'll be working in this studio 

... and this one

And eating here with fellow residents!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Teaching 3D Print for Glass

Last Wednesday, I was invited to lecture and demo for students in Bruno Andrus' class at Espace Verre. The demo was focused on ways of using multiple types of 3D printed molds and materials to make glass pieces that can be added together hot. Students were invited to experiment with some fresh molds prepped for the session and they did some really fun things with them. 

FDM plastic print of a vessel foot. The negative plaster mold was cast from this (see below) 

3D Printed bronze blow mold was used for the vessel, the foot was pressed in plaster and then attached

Students make a 'blown foot' for the vessel

(below) student turns blowmold into a pitcher

Student tests out the plaster press mold, using powdered graphite as a release agent

Big thanks to Bruno Andrus and the class for diving into the process with me. 
More on Bruno here:
and for more on Espace Verre, visit:

New Works (Fall 2015)

Animation Stills (Top two images). 3D prints, paper folds and ceramic (Lower three images)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

3D Printed Glass Mold - Research Project

After a bit of a break on this blog, I have some new stuff share. Back in the winter I received a Hexagram grant from Concordia to pursue research on a project experimenting with 3D print and hot glass. After some trial and error I was able to create a 3D printed Bronze mold in two parts which is designed for glassblowing. The trick is to keep the mold as thin as possible to limit expense (its not cheap) but also thick enough to not bend or warp when hot glass is blown into it. Details are in the images below. 

Shapeways sent my completed 3D print in the mail ( pictured below). Its kind of like Christmas to open up something like this, that I've never touched- only worked on for hours in 3D software. 

The 2 parts are held together with grip wrenches (cheaper than 3D printing hinges/ locks on the hold itself). You can actually see the layer-lines from the 3D printer which do show on the glass surface too (if you're curious how metal gets 3D printed, check this out:

With help from Espace Verre here in Montreal, I was able to find a fantastic assistant, Armel (who you can see working with me below) to help with the creation of these pieces. You can see his work here:

Finished pieces in studio...

The background for this project was my interest in old Roman mold-blown glass which goes back to about 100 CE. One of the first brand-name artists, named Ennion was renown for making these mold blown pieces in super sharp detail (always with his name pressed into it) which allowed for pieces to be made very fast and repeatable. 

Last month I took a trip to New York to see an exhibition of this ancient glass at the Metropolitan Museum. It looks way bigger in the books, but these pieces are usually tiny, hand-held things that contained various precious liquids like perfumes. This scale makes it manageable to pull off with the shipping constraints, costs and machine limitations of my work. These pieces contain a lot of allegory and character, the ones I'm making speak more to computers, machines and tool marks to be more a product of this time in history. 

They also happen to be amazingly gaudy, but they represent an ancient link between handmade objects, mass production and technology. Ennion's molds were made in as many as four parts and were ceramic. The pieces I made are a kind of proof-of-concept which worked well enough, that I can now explore more complexity in future pieces. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

1st Year Final Crit Gallery Installation (Real + Virtual)

Shroud Laser Cut (Above) + simulated 3D render below

Installation View

1st year MFA final crit 3D rendered video

Submitted text to Accompany the show (collected research and quotes) 

Test Render of mold-blown glass textures

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Feb updates/ Work in progress

Me and the guys at Bee Kingdom are excited to be included in this new book coming out mid-march!

3D render for lasercut engraving

 Recent wall installation for Concordia Open Studios. much space. so artwork. very lasers

Greenscreening Video class- here we demo how to composite yourself into a Julia Roberts film

Laser-cut-stencil printing wall at the studio

Full body 3D scanning demo on live model. many lasers. 

126-piece puzzle, cut by lasers of course

Prepping pieces for wall installation