My recent tile installation called Espalier consists of a series of porcelain tiles printed with imagery created using the laser marking process. I’ve been exploring the concept of “separating” the surface from my sculptural works and transforming existing three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional imagery, thereby highlighting and subverting the standard form-and-surface relationship so central to ceramic practice and discourse.

I am interested in shifting the normal paradigm of working from two-dimensional (i.e., sketches, preliminary drawings, architectural renderings) to three-dimensional form, that is customary in fine art, design, and architecture, and inverting that convention, beginning with the 3-D and moving to 2-D. Flattening out my three-dimensional sculptural forms through the application of non-orthogonal photography (peripheral photographs through digital rectification and compositing), the process is akin to the practice of espalier in horticulture whereby something that naturally grows in three dimensions is manipulated and trained to flourish on a two-dimensional plane. I worked with photographer, digital technician, and designer Michael Zajac on the tile series.

Digital imaging and laser marking by Michael Zajac and photography by Karl Griffiths-Fulton.