It takes a lot of skill and attention to be both a focused artist and teacher. Brian Harper, ceramic teacher at I.U.S., made this evident by bringing Matt Mitros to campus to work with students.
If you read our previous blog you know about Matt’s innovative art. Let’s now take a look at his presentation about ceramic 3D printing.
Matt began by demonstrating Rhinoceros, a 3D graphics and computer-aided design (CAD) application. Using this software, Matt designs objects and molds for objects in his art practice. He uses Rhino to operate a CNC router to carve molds from solid blocks of plaster.
Aware that students learn best through hands-on involvement, Mitros facilitated group design of a ceramic vessel using Potter Draw software. Laughter ensued as students created a fanciful vessel on screen.
Next, Matt shot the design to a program, called Slic3r, located on a computer attached to a 3D printer. Slicer programs put designs into layers; create codes that determine scale and wall thickness; and can design inside and outside walls of a pot differently. These aspects of 3D printing alone distinguish this technology from wheel-throwing, even hand building, with clay.
Mitros made the point that he works with printers in order to be innovative with the technology and to add to the conceptual framework of his sculpture. Furthermore, Matt loves textural qualities of clay that physically show the process of creation. For example, he casts clay into plaster molds and doesn’t remove the seam lines. He often produces objects on printers that show each layer produced by the nozzle.
As a grand finale, Matt Mitros demonstrated a specific use of the printer that he uses extensively: one object, such as a clay-printed toy, can be attached directly on top of another, such as a clay-printed potato.
It’s all about having fun with machines to create new ideas and new art objects.