'The Sir John Soane Museum, facing Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London is an ‘eccentric 19th-century collector's home, packed with classical sculpture, paintings and curiosities’. It is a place that I visit at least once a year, as it gives an insight into the world of a fascinating gentleman and architect. Visiting the museum can be an overwhelming experience, stuffed as it is with an eclectic mix of artefacts, paintings and architectural models. It’s very easy to miss hidden gems, hence the need to revisit regularly.
One object that caught my eye on the last visit was a silver lidded tureen, a gift to Sir John Soane. Apart from its pleasing design, the reflections of the rest of the room in its surface caused a slightly disturbing sensation, reminding me of trompe l’oeil and other visually disturbing effects. The image stayed with me and I was reminded of it when looking through some Wedgwood catalogue drawings. Like the silver tureen, the ceramics had employed strong classical references.
I decided to use the form as the starting point for my design, but to employ another visual phenomena, the moiré effect, where two overlapping patterns of lines or grids produce a secondary, superimposed pattern that changes as the two patterns are moved.
Designing this piece using CAD software presents the problem that the object and its moiré effect cannot be effectively tested until the object is made real. Once I was satisfied with the design on screen, the data was sent to a bureau specialising in Additive Manufacturing and the piece was manufactured using the latest Selective Laser Sintering technology. It was then hand finished.'
- Michael Eden