Showing posts from 2013

Play off: 3D printers vs 3D Doodlers

Using new technology is never a simple "or" choice.

While hacking a 3D plastic printer to enable it to print clay, I was alerted to the WobbleWorks 3d Doodler project on Kickstart by Romano Formentin.

It seemed relevant, so I and 26,455 others promised over $2m to try to get the project off the ground.

On 25 March 2013 the project went live.

It finally arrived the day I flew out to exhibit in the Florence Biennale.

My daughter and I had a quick 10 minus play before it was back in the box, until I returned from Italy yesterday.

 As a fun way to explore the machine, I introduced it to the Wednesday afternoon and evening class pottery and sculpture class students, during the coffee and champagne break (it was our last 2013 class:)).

The following 1 minute  video shows one of them using it,  their  and my own first rough creation (seriously handicapped by jet lag and lack of sleep).

The experience was very similar to drawing on paper, but in space.

Some differences include:

- sl…

Florence's living artists (this week only) :)

30 November ·  · Taken at Fortezza da Basso, Firenze, Tuscany, Italy

After week walking around Florence looking at dead artist's work, it's still nicer to actually to look at contemporary artworks and talk with their creators. The following are just some random pictures, the names of the 2013 Florence Biennale artists and links to those whom I have spoken with and exchanged details.  I'm updating this daily.

Aalto-Annala Marja-Liisa - Finland
Abessinova Elena - Norway

Agial Hanan - Libia
Ahmmed Ronni - Bangladesh
Aksit Zafer - Turkey
Alagirisamy, Geetha - Switzerland/Singapore , Sculptor and Ceramicist: Identity
Ali Celine - Romania
All Asya - Russia
Allori Laura (Lallycula) - Italy
Alves de Souza Costa Elisiana - Brazil
Andrade Elizabeth Almendra - Brazil
Antonelli Paola - Italy
Arakkal, Shibu India Photographer
Araujo Tati - Italy
Arianpour Sara - Iran
Ascencio Villanueva Victor Manuel (Vito) - Me…

Coals to Newcastle, Art to Firenze

Dead on arrival? Work being shoot by Italian photographer.
Coals to Newcastle, Art to Firenze Taking contemporary art to Florence, reminded me of the British idiom (C 1538), carrying "Coals to Newcastle," a town that annually exported 15,000 tonnes.
On reflection, on two fronts, I'm mad:
Firstly, Italy, and particularly Florence / Firenze is credited as the birthplace of Renaissance art.  
How can a first generation artist like myself complete against generations of skilled artists going back to 1300 's? 
Skills and knowledge have been passed down, polished and refined for over 700 years.  
Compare that to my haphazard and disjointed 40 years of learning about and making art.
Secondly, contemporary art runs a distant last, way, way behind art in Firenze.  
People go to Firenze to look at museums, of which there are almost as many... well... um....Google Maps tells me there are 13,847!  
Each of these Museum has curators, historians, administrators, gift shop staff, ma…

Are great artists - just jet lagged performing artists?

I started this blog posting nearly a month ago, but need the time to let my thoughts settle:

Are great artists -  just jet lagged performing artists?

I'm afraid to count how many air flights I have made to teach, speak and exhibit.

So I'll count.

On my website I counted over 30 trips to speak at interstate and overseas conferences, symposia and workshops.  Fortunately most of the 16 interstate and overseas exhibition openings I attended also were also at the same time.

The start of all this thinking and counting, was coming down with a flu after my last trip.

My illness was the side product of an intense month of pre-trip making, family events, nerves,  jet lag at both ends, and the usual stress of constantly performing at a high level, in a strange environment in front of strangers.

Anyway, I begun to question why I keep putting myself through this experience.

To be honest with myself, there is ego reasons for accepting invitations to demonstrate or speak in front of a lot …

Will 3D printing become a Dodo?

Computer Art went the way of the Dodo. Will 3D printed Art follow? 

The best view in Perth and iced coffee (with ice cream of course), used by the author to untangle the 3D puzzle.

According to Grant D. Taylor in The Machine that Made Science Art: The troubled History of Computer Art 1963-1989 (2004 UWA PhD Philosophy Thesis), computer art quickly became marginalised.  Digital art, its younger nephew, was able to upstage it and has go on to become hip and trending with the art crowd. And still is, sort of.

What's this got to do with 3D ceramic printing?

I'm not exactly sure, but bear with me while I untangle my thinking...

In ceramics, over the last few 40,000 years we've seen it all before.

Take the wheel. Despite small pockets of resistant fighters, studio neo-throwers (neo-romantic throwers?), most ceramic factories completely mechanised the manufacturing of table wear, decades ago.  Human throwers in ceramic factories went the way of the Dodo.  Extinct. Gone to meet th…

Counting sheep woke me up

Adding another thought to the tangle...
This is what kept me awake tonight.

Over the last decade my website has grown from a simple depository of records of sculptures, articles on paper clay and paper sculpture, and a record of gatherings in numerous countries of paper clay pioneers.

This has slowly grown to over 160 pages, 1200 images and probably over 100,000 words.

The studio website (and other websites) has also slowly grown to over 60 pages and 400 images of art, exhibitions, media releases and catalogues.

Like a gardener in a "digital garden" I spend a little bit of time now and then, just a few minutes, each day or week, on it.

But these few minutes now and then, have compounded up over a decade to a huge amount of time.

It is a quiet and reflective activity.

No-one disturbs, or comments as I wander about doing this, checking, trimming, adding, and updating.

The annual online visitor numbers are staggering: 100,000 website visitors (or 1.1 million hits),


If I'm not an Artist, what am I?

Are you like me?

Think the definition "Artist" or "Craft person"

 too limiting a description of what you do?

Apart from creating/making stuff,

do you do a whole lot more?

CCUK came up with a mouthful of a label,

but despite this,

fits better than most labels.

So for now, I'm a "portfolio working maker"!

Avoid all the academic speech and skip to page  12 in their report at

See if they have anything in common with you.

These people "work", play and study across a mix of paid and unpaid, recreational and professional activities in art, craft, science, tech, business, management, medical, educators, researchers,  social workers, writers, performers, directors.....

When I start looking around me, not only are many of my peers, but many of my studio students are living, or starting to live this kind of life...

Is this a trend?

(image source: http://www.squidoo…

looking for Some One?

A discussion evolved during today's studio class about sculptures combining male and female figures, from this we discussed the history of the ideas of love and attraction.  
Because of the general interest, and due to an uneven knowledge within classes, I refer you to good old wikipedia for a less "pop" explanation of early ideas of love (for an explanation of Ancient Greek ideas of philiaerosagapestorge, and xenia,see
It reminded me of the Greek mythology about physical attraction, which I summarised in class:
In Symposium (c. 385–380 BC), Plato has a dinner guest explain how primal people had doubled human bodies, with faces and limbs turned outward, and were so strong they challenged the Gods. There were 3 sexes, i.e. all male, all female and male-female.  To weaken them, and double the number of worshipers, Zeus sliced them in half, creating creatures always seeking their other half.  Ever since then, we're been chasing…