The coil pots are a unique design technique of yours. How did you develop this signature?
The coil vessels emulate the mechanized process of 3D printing, but are made by hand. By inverting biomimicry, a concept where new technological innovations are discovered through the imitation of designs found in nature, this subversive gesture explores how we can remain relevant in the age of automation, where there are apprehensions of machines instigating human obsolescence.
3D-printed ceramics are made by stacking clay coils according to programmed measurements until the piece is completed. A computer software and a robotic arm control the nozzle that extrudes the clay, a technological innovation allowing complex ceramic designs to be printed quickly, accurately and in large numbers.
Starting with the simple exercise of copying the way the 3D printer repeatedly performs the action of laying extruded coils one atop the other by hand, but without any preliminary planning, ceramic vessels emerged intuitively – droopy, lopsided- the forms seems to ebb and flow in the manner in which they are made. Dictated by the weight of moist clay, these pots are often pushed to their structural limits, and many have collapsed. Unlike the machine, I am able to detect the slightest change in the properties of the clay body under different environmental conditions. This insight into plasticity and workability, which can only be obtained by spending time with the physical matter through play and observation, allows compromise with the material. The artist’s hands are able to build forms that the present day ceramic 3D printer cannot, and this is because humans are capable of the patience, care and inquisitiveness needed for an intimate relationship with clay.