Ceramic 3D Printing @ Medalta
In May 2013, Medalta asked Steve Grimmer of the University of Manitoba to invite artists, designers and researcherd to Medalta for three weeks in order to explore two convergent technologies of ceramics and 3D printing.
He put together a fabulous group. Sometimes in the studio a group just "clicks" and this is one of those groups. Steve Grimmer, Chris Gustin, and Alex Smith anchored the residency and became a resource for other artists such as Susan Shantz and Katrina Chaytor.
Integral to the success of this endeavour were John Balistreri and Greg Pugh of Ceramic 3D Printing who brought there modified Zcorp printer here for three weeks so our resident artists could experiment with the technology.
Instead of slab rollers, potters wheels, and other pottery equipment, the studio was filled with laptops, hard drives, scanners, video projectors, smartphones and other assorted digital creative devices. It quickly became apparent that the vast majority of time necessary to generate a print is taken up with modeling. That means hours and hours sitting in front of a computer moving pixels around a screen until the object is ready to be printed.
Artists came with a wide variety of skills and literacy with various modelling software such a Maya, Rhinoceros 3D, AutoCad, Sketchup, Blender, and others. Greg Pugh - who has an amazingly diverse skill set - was able to work individually with each artist in order to translate their ideas from a digital file to fired ceramic object.
Some artists even had time to experiment with our digital ceramic laser printer as well and were able to produce some stunning 2D ceramic prints inspired by their forays into the digital realm.
The residency ended with the five feature artists presenting their research to an over-capacity crowd. The support from the local and regional communities was amazing with people travelling several hours to attend the presentations.
Courtesy Medalta in the Historic Clay District