I have no idea if my colleagues at Ceramic Arts Daily, Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated agree with me on this, but I am blown away at what Michael Eden is doing in ceramics with the nascent technology of 3D desktop printing and low-cost additive manufacturing.
I had heard Eden’s name mentioned in art circles before for his pottery work, but when I saw his new stuff (hat tip to ArtStormer) it immediately struck me as both revolutionary and a hint at more design revolutions that may be coming. I don’t even know if this technically qualifies as pottery or ceramics (Eden describes several of his works as being “non-fired ceramic coatings”) but it is art, and beautifully intriguing art at that.
Some questions come to mind, though. Eden’s work is extraordinary, but will we look back in a few years and perceive it as more of a gimmick? How long will it take for someone to copy his works and offer them through something like Shapeways, and will this, effectively, make consumers numb to the days and weeks of creative work Eden goes through while preparing his designs?
I also wonder about what the long-term impact of this will be. I suspect that many readers don’t recall what a revolution “desktop publishing” unleashed, including the good, the bad and the aesthetically ugly in print, and how it led to subsequent revolutions in page design, font development and even writing and editing. It also led to enormous disruptions that are still being felt in the publishing, typesetting and printing industries.
So, here we are at the dawn of desktop 3D printing and the broader field of additive manufacturing, and I take my hat off to to Eden for doing some hard work to show what opportunities exists for both artists and engineers.
And, be sure to check out the brief two-part video about how Eden approaches his work: