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March 4th, 2011

American Museum of Ceramic Art gets technical with exhibit, family activities and lecture

Published on March 4th, 2011 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

This falls into the better late than never category: The American Museum of Ceramic Art (better known as AMOCA) has had a great exhibition going since late January on the theme of advanced ceramic and science technology, “Ceramics for the New Millennium,” and has been organizing some additional programming around the exhibit (that runs through April 9th, 2011).

AMOCA, located in Pomona, Calif., advertises that the exhibit is an unfamiliar departure from the museum’s usual art fare:

“See how your every-day life is improved by the multitude of innovations and inventions that use ceramic technology. [. . .] With the current dialogue regarding the necessity for a green environment and global responsibility – have you ever considered that the answer might be clay? Or that clay technology is an energy-efficient practice? Ceramic products are used to create clean energy with lower costs, establishing jobs which build a sustainable economy. Organic clay particles can replace the volatile chemicals used in plastics. Ceramic seeds can be used to deliver localized radiation that kills cancer cells, yet leaves healthy cells alone. You may be familiar with the mundanities of porcelain dental implants, kitchen sinks, light bulb
sockets, and ceramic-lined crock pots, but you may not recognize the hundreds of other ceramic engineering applications such as ceramic hip or joint replacements, ceramic space ship tiles, and ceramic body armor plates used for defense.

Museum officials tell me that Wendell Keith, CEO of Keith Company, a maker of industrial heat-treat furnace equipment has helped them with the exhibit and to pull together several related events, such as the Feb. 5 ceramic industry mixer, a grand-opening reception and a “Family Science Day” that featured lots of hand-on activities.

Still to come is a special lecture hosted at AMOCA April 9 (6–7 p.m.) by Vilupanur Ravi,  professor and chair of the Chemical & Materials Engineering Department at Cal Poly, Pomona. The topic of Ravi’s lecture is “How Advanced Ceramics Play an Important Role in Industry Today.” (Ravi also helped with the Family Science Day activities – see picture, below.)

AMOCA also praises the support they have received from Bryan Vansell of Mission Clay Products, Joel Moskowitz, CEO of Ceradyne Inc. and from CoorsTek, Kyocera and SPT Small Precision Tools.

Cal Poly Pomon’s  Vilupanur Ravi demonstrates a superconducting magnet as part of AMOCA’s Family Science Day.


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