Great Things to People—a design group hailing from Santiago, Chile that we've previously covered at NY Design Week—has created a experimental machine called "Less: No.1 Catenary Pottery Printer (CPP)." The machine works almost like a giant fabric sieve that produces beautiful, fragile porcelain pottery. But it doesn't take away any bit of strategy. As you can see in the video below, there are a lot of things you can do to inspire and mold your piece:
To use it, porcelain is poured into the fabric hammock and is filtered through into an empty container underneath the fabric. After the excess liquid has passed through the fabric, there is still porcelain left over coating the bottom. After a bit of drying, the fabric is removed from the form. GT2P's website explains the process with a bit more math involved:
This is part of an exploration on how to create standard machines that generate non-standard results, mixing analog numerical control with traditional material and techniques integrated in one real-time process, suggesting that the parametric design is not necessarily a digital computation methodology. We work in the translation of computational logics and automations process in the material world through an analog machine that allow us articulating physical variables in real time, as gravity, fluid weight, fabric tensions, size and material, position and number of anchor points in XYZ, horizontal limit to get a flat bottom, slipcasting volumes, dry times, pottery viscosity, type of potteries (ceramic, gres, porcelain, etc.), water quantity, thickness of shell, etc.
The end product is a custom pottery piece with details taken from the fabric. Small ripples of fibers show up and texturize each piece differently. This pottery hack makes it impossible to "mess up" with all of the possible shapes and textures it offers.
What do you think—Does it take away from the hands-on creative process or is it a welcome innovation?