3D Printing, Janne Kyttanen & New Inspirations

Sometimes it happens that life delivers inspiration at exactly the right time without me even actively looking. I really like when this happens, since it feels like someone switched on a light bulb in my brain and the jungle of ideas in my head that could make up a new project suddenly magically unsnarls.

Today this Aha-Moment was given to me by Janne Kyttanen who decided to follow me on Twitter. I had never heard of him and I looked him up… and I was stunned. He is a designer, based in the Netherlands, who is very much interested in 3D printing. He started to investigate and work with this technology since the mid 90’s and his portfolio is very impressive. From his designs, over to founding his own business ‘3D Systems‘ to collaborations with shoe-designers, interior architects, jewellery artists (like Ted Noten) etc. Janne really likes to dip into multiple design disciplines. A fact that I find highly refreshing and inspirational.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 9.14.27 AMJanne Kyttanen Designs

Andreia Chaves invisible shoes, 2011Janne Kyttanen in collaboration with Andreia Chaves, Invisible Shoes, 2011

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 9.21.30 AMJanne Kyttanen in collaboration with Ted Noten, Fashionista Necklace, 2009

There are quite a few things that kept my mind busy lately. One thing that I have been thinking about for quite a while is that I would like to have my artistic work run in a new direction again and 3D printing is one technique that fascinates me. Back when I was still living in Shanghai, I purchased a 3D printer from Makible, a start-up company based in Hong Kong that offers a very price-tag friendly 3D printer, the MakiBox. At the time when I purchased the printer, I was not aware that they were just starting of (completely my misunderstanding) and that it would take some time for the product to be finished, so I could not yet try to work with a 3D printer. But some things are worth the wait and now, almost two years later, it seems like my MakiBox is finally in the post and I should receive it any time now. I so cannot wait!

Another thing is that recently I feel the urge to explore other art and design fields. For the last ten years I have mainly been working in jewellery and as of lately I feel like the small scale almost seems to ‘suffocate’ me from now and then. In order to get my mind free, I find it helps to work big sometimes or do something completely unrelated. (This is also one reason why I decided not to go to see the Schmuck 2014 exhibition in Munich this time.) Right now, I would love to indulge in making chandeliers and lamps and I would like to dive into sculptural art.

But to get back to 3D printing… As mentioned before, I am fascinated by the technique but I find it very controversy at the same time. A lot of artists have dipped into the field already, like jeweler Arthur Hash or the design team from Nervous System and I admire their work a lot. But for me, I love making things by hand, it forms an essential part of my designing process. Using a technology that is solely based on a machine fabricating an idea might not be enough for my bench-experience and it also raises a lot of questions as to how the making process in art and craft should and can look like. Does the artificial making process ‘water down’ the quality of work, since a 3D printer might soon be a house-hold stable in every home for everyone to use? Will art soon be something that every person can do by the mouse-click? Can suddenly everyone be an artist? Or will in the end the artistic mind take over and even in such an easy, approachable technology, the creative idea will determine the quality and level of the work? I assume the latter will be the case. In order to create objects, one needs to have a mind that can think accordingly but the question of whether art should actually be made by the artist and not necessarily a machine will remain. Also, is the sole idea of a piece of work enough? Individuality might get lost in the machine-making process, uniformity might take over. But then again, this can also be a very interesting approach to a body of work.

Arthur Hash NecklaceArthur Hash, Necklace

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 9.39.28 AMNervous System, Kinematics Jewelry in 3D printed nylon.

In fact, this approach is one point that I am quite interested in at the moment. I have a few ideas turning around the symbiosis of hand-made and 3D printed structures. I think that combining two different forms of making, in their process and the choice of material, will add a very interesting contrast to my future pieces. Another thing that I will add is a new topic that the work will turn around. In the spirit of contrast, that has always been a major motivator in my work, I have recently looked into the relationship of nature and humans again. This is an issue that has always been in the back of my mind. (Have a look at my ‘Booming Blooming‘ and ‘Globalores‘ series.) In my opinion, the modern human primarily takes from nature and does not give much back. There are major man-made natural catastrophes happening all around the globe, gene-manipulation in plants and animals becomes bigger and bigger etc. … and all in the name of consumerism without people thinking about the consequences. What will happen if humans ‘win’ and nature is gone at some point? Will we have to fabricate nature too? Will nature be a reminiscent of the past with all those new technologies ‘improving’ the natural ways of being?

Tech BeeThis image was recently sent to me by my sister-in-law. Will nature and technology work as one or will technology take over nature?

I will see where this path will lead me. It might take a while before I can show some actual finished pieces. Since I have never 3D printed anything before, I am not familiar with any 3D modeling programs. I am good in Illustrator but learning 3D will be a new task that might take a while. If anyone knows of any good, easy-to-learn and free 3D programs, please let me know! I appreciate all the help I can get.

But for now, thank you Janne Kyttanen for following me on Twitter this morning!

I apologize for the length of this post… I hope you made it this far! Until next time…

Thank you for reading!

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Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
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Jonathan Kirk at Clifford Art Gallery

Last week was packed with art events in the Utica area. To my great surprise, there were two exhibition openings, one gallery anniversary and an open studio event. I have to admit that when I first moved to Utica, I did not think there was much going on in the art scene but last week proved me wrong and I am very happy about this!

I will write separate posts about each event that I visited. Unfortunately, I messed up the times for the open studio invitation at ceramic artist Vartan Poghosian‘s studio, so no post about that event, but I very much hope I will get another opportunity to see his studio soon.

The first exhibition of the week was Jonathan Kirk‘s show ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’ at Clifford Art Gallery at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.

Jonathan Kirk was present to hold an artist talk. I could not attend right from the start but I dropped in for the Q&A. For me, it was nice to hear how Jonathan creates his work. He does not make a lot of drawings, instead he goes into 3D models right away to give him some sort of direction. Once the making process of the actual piece progresses, the work has still the freedom to transform and in some sort shape itself.

I very much agree that sometimes, the piece tells you what it wants to look like and all you have to do as an artist is ‘listen’. A lot of pieces only start to take shape during the creating process. Trying to overthink an idea by drawing on a piece of paper can sometimes be more confusing than getting one’s hands dirty and see where one might end up. In this line of thinking, there usually is no big room for failure as well. No matter what one will create, most of the time, it can be transformed into something else, until it reaches the point where it feels right.

The show had quite a variety of work on display. There were big sculptures, next to medium-sized objects and a table with a big selection of models. I was very intrigued by those pieces. Even though they were initially meant to visualise a quick idea and to see if it might work out, the were impeccable. The way Jonathan treats materials is breathtaking! He is a perfectionist with a great eye for details.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.01.15 PMTable with models

jonathan kirk
Display of ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’

 

 

I particularly fell in love with the piece ‘Lookout’. When looking at it, I found myself thinking that it resembles a model (and I assume it might have been a model at some point) because of the chosen material, cardboard, but the surface treatment and finish rightly take it on a completely different level. The material in this piece is being treated in a way that shows its best (and even new) characteristics in the brightest light. It is being taken away from the notion that cardboard is a cheap packaging material but something very precious.

jonathan kirk‘Lookout’, cardboard, 1993

There were a few wooden objects hanging from the wall that, I think, created a similar notion. They were made by individual small pieces of wood that were ‘glued’ into shape with epoxy. Jonathan treated the surface of the shape with lacquer, which he then buffed in some areas, revealing what was underneath. The way the surface looked reminded me a lot of Japanese Urushi lacquer. This type of lacquer is applied layer after layer, after layer… Every time I have a look at a piece that is showing this technique, I am reminded of the flow of time and all the respect I have for people who devote themselves to creating perfection. To me, the ‘buffed’ areas showed the ‘guts’ of the work, creating a great balance in between origin, the passing of time and the final being.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.01.01 PM
Display of ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’

Another very big factor in Jonathan’s work is the question of scale and how to use it. The center of the room held a sculpture of a big steam engine ‘Old King Cole’. Jonathan mentioned that, if he had made it any smaller, it might have been perceived as a toy. If he had made it bigger, it would have seemed like a replica of a steam engine, which then would have raised questions like use and functionality of the machine, rather than the question of what and why the object is art. Having chosen a  size that is located right in between a toy and a replica stripped the piece from its former functions and gave it the chance to express something new.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.01.47 PM‘Old King Cole’, mild steel, 2007

Jonathan Kirk ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’ will be on show at Clifford Art Galery at Colgate University until February 1, 2013. If you have the chance to go and visit, you should definitely go and have a look. You won’t be disappointed.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 7.36.27 PM

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
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Adirondack Roots

When my parents came for a visit a couple of weeks ago, Barry and I took them to the Adirondacks for a weekend. One of our adventures, while we were up there was climbing ‘Bald Mountain’.

To get to the top, it is a nice little hike that takes around 45min. On the way, one is exposed to a great landscape, a fascinating mix of trees and enormous ‘bald’ rocks.It is a great contrast that shows the roughness but also the survival instinct of nature. One observation that I found the most interesting was the way the trees grow their roots in this environment. Of course, I have seen roots before but not as often as exposed as on my way up to the Bald Mountain summit.

While climbing, I felt a weird connection with those roots. I could not really put it into words back then but it led me to take a lot of pictures. I like to document things that interest me, even if I am not sure if I will ever use this inspiration for my work. In this case, I think it will find a way into my artistic practice in some sort, as the roots seem to have found a hold not only on Bald Mountain but in my brain! Since the day of the climb, my mind keeps going back to those roots and I come to think that the connection might be in me finally trying to figure out where my roots were, are and where I want them to be. For the first time, after all my travels, it feels like I have arrived. This does not mean that this is where it ends, I see it more as the beginning of something new that has its roots here.

Roots at Bald Mountain

Funny coincidence… This morning, I stumbled over the work of artist Henrique Oliveira, thanks to the contributions of the friendly duo of the Hovercraftdoggy blog. Seeing Henrique’s work made me smile. There couldn’t be anything better to express the way I feel at the moment and what I am looking for to express in my own work.

Henrique Oliveira, ‘Tapumes – Casa dos Leoes’, 2009

Henrique OliveiraHenrique Oliveira, ‘Alley Abscess’, 2011

Henrique Oliveira, ‘Dead Fire’, 2012

Henrique Oliveira, ‘Boxoplasmose’, 2011

I am not sure, if I will use actual wood in my future pieces or experiment with more contrasting materials. Right now, I opt for the latter, as I am thinking about experimenting with Faience and 3D printing. I had the idea to try and work with Faience when I went to see the ‘Shodow of the Sphinx’ exhibition at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, NY. I then found this great blog about making and working in Faience and I am very much looking forward to trying. I love the origin of the material, being the first high technology ceramic, one of the first man-made materials mankind worked with. Working in this material really means going back to the roots! Right now, I am still trying to figure out where to get all the materials from that are needed to make the paste. If anyone has some suggestions, I would very much appreciate to hear them.

I can’t wait to start experimenting and finally work with my new pink kiln. I will keep you posted about future developments.

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
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Sculpture Space Work in Progress Reception, Aug 22

Last week was a very hectic week with a lot of things going on. One of them was the ‘Work in Progress Reception’ at Sculpture Space. The current artists in the studio invited the public to share new ideas and have a look at their most recent works.

Four artists presented their newest creations:

Nova Jiang (Los Angeles, CA)
Jeff + Tara, The Friendly Falcons (Brooklyn, NY)
Cornelia Konrads (Bad Munder, Germany)
Jessica Segall (Brooklyn, NY)

It was the first time for me to attend such an event at Sculpture Space and I very much enjoyed it. I had been to the studio earlier on but this was the first time I saw it bursting with people and it was great to find that there is so much interest in art and such a big artist community in Utica.

The evening started off with a friendly welcome of Monika Burczyk, the Sculpture Space Executive Director, and continued with the artists introducing their work.

First, Jessica Segall introduced her beautiful body of work that was created through a residency in Alaska. Cornelia Konrads had just arrived to Sculpture Space the week before and briefly introduced some of her previous works, featuring book art and beautiful sculptures. The Friendly Falcons, Tara Pelletier & Jeffrey Kurosaki, finished the presentations with a very interesting music/image/sculpture performance.

In addition to the artists’ work, there was a sculpture of John von Bergen, the ‘Sculpture Drawing’ on display, which can be won in a very special prize drawing. 125 tickets for $100/pc are on sale until September 22. To purchase a ticket, please contact 315-724-8381 or click here to help support Utica’s international residency program.

The main Sculpture Space building.

Monika Burczyk welcoming the audience.

Jessica Segall introducing her work.

Jessica Segall

Cornelia Konrads

Cornelia Konrads

Cornelia Konrads

This is a video of the Friendly Falcon’s performance, seen through John von Bergen’s ‘Drawing Sculpture’.

John von Bergen, ‘Drawing Sculpture’

For more information on the individual artists, please have a look at their websites, there is a lot more beautiful work to see!

I am looking forward to the next Sculpture Space event, the CHAIRity Auction on September 22. The drawing of the John von Bergen Sculpture will be part of this event too. Come around to find out about the lucky winner!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope to see you at Sculpture Space soon!

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like the FB ProonK page.