In July 2018 I attended a residency workshop at Tethon 3D in Omaha, Nebraska. This one-week intensive, one-on-one workshop, led by Greg Pugh and Max Kaeter, provided an opportunity that will have a long-reaching impact on my ever-evolving relationship with emerging technologies and imagining new ways of making. My husband and art partner Michael Zajac also signed up for the workshop. It was me, Michael, Greg, and Max in Tethon’s studio for a solid week immersed in experimenting with 3D printing in clay. It is Michael, photographer and designer, who has made my continued research into digital technology possible.
Greg Pugh is trained as a ceramic artist and has an amazing wealth of material knowledge as well as digital experience, particularly well known for his experimentation in 3D printing with clay. Max comes from the computer gaming world and has a phenomenal facility in digital 3D modelling. Greg and Max spent as much time as was needed, guiding exciting forays into new technologies. With access to their expertise, I was able to explore various 3D printing techniques including porcelain resin printing and powder printing with stoneware clay – both specialized materials designed by Greg Pugh. The refinement of the objects printed in Tethon’s porcelain, called Porcelite for the resin printer, and the scale and affordability provided by the stoneware powder printer led to the creation of clay forms that would be impossible to make by hand. The 3D printing process is reiterative and the reimagining of a single form is unlimited. It is at the intersection of conventional methods and emerging technologies that creativity and hybridity are able to flourish.