Digital Coiling is a part of a continuous exploration for ceramicist Hilda Nilsson to map the possibilities of using a 3D-printer to create unique crafts objects. During her stay at Statens Værksteder Hilda has experimented with fluxing ceramic materials and computer generated textures exploring the controlled and uncontrolled.
The 3D-printing process contains of first carefully preparing the material, adding water to the raw clay to make it the right consistency for the 3D-printer and removing any inconsistencies or air bubbles. A tank is filled with the material and connected to the printer.
The 3D-drawing is prepared and converted to Gcode, a type of code the 3D-printer can read and added to a memory card in the printer. Air pressure is then connected to push the material through the nozzle and the machine builds the object layer by layer using a type of coiling technique. Speed and extrusion rate can be controlled depending on the consistency of the material. It is therefore a favourable tool to use for exploring and developing new material compounds. The technique also makes it possible to print three dimensional objects using a material that usually cannot be shaped by hand.
3D-printing with ceramic materials
Hilda worked with adding fluxing materials and experimenting with consistencies to map out the possibilities of 3D-printing with other ceramic materials than raw clay. Depending on how the material reacts to heat the objects will change shape and texture. It is a contrast between the strict machine-made geometrical shape and the will of the material. The project is reflecting on questions about traditional production methods, making things by hand, what 3D-printing contributes to the design and crafts field, and if there is such a thing as digital crafts at all.
Parts of the works produced at Statens Værksteder will be exhibited in a group exhibition at NCECA’s (The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) annual conference in Richmond, Virginia (US) in March 2020.