The inspiration for Nautilus III comes from two sources: a decorated nautilus shell in the Waddesdon collection, and 18th century microscopy.
The piece at Waddesdon, on display in the Smoking Room, comprises a delicately carved shell by a master of nautilus engraving: Cornelius Bellekin (c. 1625-1711) and a triton and base, possibly made by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in the early 19th century.
The second inspiration for Nautilus III comes from early microscopy imagery, used as starting points for the surface decoration of some Sèvres ceramics. During the period when these and other extraordinary ceramic vases were made there was a strong interest in science and natural history, used not only for their aesthetic appeal, but also to demonstrate that the owner was of taste and education.
In order to bring these ideas into the 21st century, I have taken advantage of new technology. The surface structure of Nautilus III is taken from the caillouté (pebbled) surface pattern that can be seen on the Sèvres vase aux oreilles in the Waddesdon collection. Apparently, this pattern was inspired by early microscopy imagery of cell structures. The structures were drawn by hand using 3D CAD software, which enables 2D line drawings to be translated into 3 dimensional structures. The drawing process required numerous iterations until I was happy with the final version. These were then arranged around my drawing of a nautilus shell, which was deleted once the caillouté were successfully positioned. The data was then checked and sliced into thousands of 0.08mm layers by specialist software and the piece was 3D printed, slowly building each layer until the piece was complete.
Michael Eden 2018