Clay Elements

Artist Matt Mitros at I.U.S. Ceramic Department -   3D Printer Technology


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.

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Matt Mitros demonstrates 3D printing at I.U.S. Ceramic Department


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.

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Students create design for 3D printing using Potter Draw


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.

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3D printer before attaching clay extruder


As Matt worked with the hand-made 3D printer that he brought to class, we were able to watch the pressure extruder, mounted on the printer, as it emitted clay through a nozzle to create a vessel and a honeycomb relief pattern that Matt uses in his sculpture.

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Mitros operating the 3D printer


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Students watching exruder in action


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.

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Cup extruded from 3D printer


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. 

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Bio Rad #13, 2017, mixed media, showing printed honeycomb pattern


It’s all about having fun with machines to create new ideas and new art objects.

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Artist Matt Mitros - Presentation at I.U.S. Ceramic Department, April 18, 2018

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There was a lot to learn from artist, Matt Mitros. mattmitros.com

Matt uses his artwork to show us that ceramic art is about the process, not the product. And if we remember this, our products will astound us. Think about the pieces that we make that are important to our progress rather than being good products that we might exhibit or sell.


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Pre-Columbian RAVE, 2013, ceramic, 12 x 12 x 7 inches


Matt’s work is all about ‘process frozen in time’. Assemblages give us a stop-action look into a time-based relationship between the mechanical and the organic.

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Pronghorn, 2014, ceramic, aluminum, glass, 14 x 24 x12 inches

 

Objects made from: clay cast from items such as potatoes and toys; 3D-printed clay forms of cups and honeycomb patterns; plastic tubing; stacked plywood; aluminum; and cast urethane resins are captured by Mitros in engaging tableaus about life.

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Bio Rad #9, 2017, mixed media 


Let’s remember that Matt loves clay, began his career as a potter, has played extensively with raw clay. Over time his work has evolved into sculpture based on organic objects taken out of context, along with simulated built structures, such as walls and tubes.

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Bio Rad #5, 2016, ceramic, wood, aluminum


Here’s a Mitros insight: clay is one medium that allows an artist to freeze a moment, like photography, because it dries and gets fired and this stops an action in time. Think of that every time you finish a piece of greenware and pop it in the kiln.

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Matt Mitros, 2018


Another insight: “the future of ceramic art lies in young people who don’t feel that they have to pay dues to traditional techniques”. Many ceramic artists today know little about clay. He says further: “We can honor tradition by doing something that’s never been done before.”

Matt has chosen to honor and innovate with clay by producing pots on 3D printers. Check out the next blog to learn about his printing techniques.

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Locator Map for AA Clay Studio & Gallery, Louisville KY

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AA Clay Studio & Gallery, conveniently located at 2829 South Fourth St. in south-central Louisville KY, is operated by qualified ceramic artists.

The Studio is a shared working space with modern equipment. The adjoining Gallery, and the online galleryfeature a wide assortment of handcrafted ceramics from studio artists and master potters.

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AA Clay Members’ Show: April 7 - May 19: Louisville Kentucky

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Our current show features captivating, handmade artworks by seven member artists. The show is up until the closing reception on Sat., May 19th (6-8 pm). Please join us to celebrate our selected artists at this public reception.

Shop the gallery for members’ items during regular open hours: aaclay.com. Visit our working studio. We are a community of artists, supporting each other through networking, advising, and encouraging.

The members participating in this Members’ Show are Sara Keiper,
Caitlin McGlade, Sharon Ramick, Lynn Duke, Beth Bradley, Peri Crush,
and Alex Adams.

The announcement above was sent out via social media and postcard.

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Husband and Wife Invent Raku Pottery

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Chojiro and his wife developed the raku technique


It all began in Japan. Here’s how it went down:

After 450 years of feudal conflicts, constant warring came to an end in the late 1500’s.

Zen philosophy, the belief that beauty resides in the simple, the quiet, and the imperfect, spread throughout the land. The tea ceremony embodied Zen philosophy.


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The great tea master, Sen-no-Rikyu


A great tea master, Sen-no-Rikyu, officially promoted the clay works of Chojiro and his wife, who had developed the raku technique of making simple hand-made bowls.

The raku technique of respecting natural processes has continued to influence ceramic art worldwide.

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Experience Thermal Shock and Oxygen Reduction at AA Clay Studio & Gallery

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April 14; 5 - 8 pm  ——  AA Clay Studio and Gallery, 2829 South 4th St, Louisville, will present a rarely seen clay firing process, called raku. The event is free and the public is invited. Enjoy watching the artists as they remove their clay objects from the open, roaring hot, outdoor kiln.

The AA Clay raku workshop https://alexadamsclaywork.com/raku-workshop.php includes an evening of raku firing on April 21 in which ceramic objects, previously made by workshop participants, are fired in an outdoor kiln. This is an exciting event for artists and viewers alike, as the firing process, from loading the kiln chamber to removing objects from the hot kiln, takes only 45 minutes.

Artists and art lovers at AA Clay want to share their enthusiasm for ceramic art with other art enthusiasts in the community. They say: “Bring a lawn chair and experience the drama of clay heated to 1600 F.”

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AA Clay Studio & Gallery Launches New Blog - Clay Elements

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AA Clay Studio and Gallery is launching a blog, edited by Suzanne Adams. The blog focuses on the power of clay to influence people locally and around the region. It will be our chance to expose our love of the medium; our respect for the technique; and our awareness of clay’s influence on human creativity.

Suzanne’s perspective is based on many years of involvement with sculpture and art education. “My desire to be an effective artist led me to explore the broad ranges of creativity through art making and teaching. I’m thrilled to share my unique perspective with readers.”

Some blog categories ready for exploration are: regional ceramic exhibitions; artist interviews; musings on the cultural influences of ceramic art; working with clay and glazes; collectors/collections of ceramic art.

Suzanne asks for your help in making this blog valuable to artists and collectors in Louisville and southern Indiana. “We can strengthen our community by putting a little time into communicating about the art form that we choose to place into the center of our lives.”

Contact Suzanne Adams if you are interested in contributing to the Clay Elements blog. adamsceramic@gmail.com

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