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Virtual Ceramic Art

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There is a new breed of ceramic artist emerging, namely the virtual ceramist - the ceramic artist delving into 'new technologies' such as 3D imaging and CAD/CAM. This new type of ceramics has been dubbed 'virtual ceramics' or 'cyberceramics'.

K. Inoue is an artist from Japan that also has programming skills and has created an extensive site featuring stereogrphic stills, shockwave titles and quicktime movies of his ceramic work. The shockwave tiltles include a time telling clock, virtual fireworks and morphing ceramics. The artist has also created a range of VRML models of various ceramic forms, but these require the Cosmo Player or Live 3D plug ins.

Jeroen Bechtold is a porcelain artist from Amsterdam, Netherlands, that has created quite a bit of virtual work using CAD/CAM design software. He has used the medium of the computer in such a way as to defy gravity and create ceramic works which would otherwise be impossible to create. He divides his work into Virtual Clay and CAD/CAM. Of 'Virtual Clay', Jeroen says "you can make shapes, deform them and re-arrange them in every way you want, just like with clay. The big advantage is that it takes less time and material to do so with Virtual Clay." The CAD/CAM page speaks of Jeroen's experience as a designer of ceramics, using the software program DeskArtes.

Damon Moon, an artist from Melbourne, Australia and I have been working on a virtual ceramics project called "Imagined Landscapes: The Tasman Map Reconfigured". This project utilises the outline of a 17th C map of Australia, made by Abel Tasman, as a template to creat virtual objects in a 3D modelling program. The historical background also plays an important part in the project as does the link to Delft ceramics, reflected in the surfaces chosen to clad the objects with. We have also created a mixed media sculpture which is currently touring South-East Asia alongside some stereographic images of the work.

INTERSECT, the International Society for Electronic Craft is now bringing all these virtual artists together. I believe that there are many more virtual craft artists around and hope that some of you might come forward and make me aware of your work (not only of 'virtual ceramics', but other crafts also), especially considering the fact that I am currently curating a show of 'Virtual Craft' and am calling for submissions for this international exhibition, which I'm sure will prove to be very exciting and probably the first of it's kind anywhere.

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