I was attracted to the Waddesdon cuvette-mahon, made by the Sèvres Manufactory because of its vigorous, flowing rococo swirls. As a response to its exuberance, I decided to enhance the Rococo theme by making the whole structure a pierced interpretation. To go about this the first stage was to 3D scan the vase, a process which captures 3-dimensional forms as data, which can then be reshaped using 3D CAD software. The next stage was to select a typical section of Rococo surface pattern, and simplify it in Photoshop.
This image was then imported into Rhino 3D CAD software and translated into a virtual 3-dimensional structure that was then used to pierce the 3D scan of the Waddesdon Manor Cuvette.
The creation of Rococo I was only made possible by the use of new technology, in particular 3D scanning and 3D printing. After the intense and time consuming development of the design 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 of material, in this particular case, nylon, until the piece was complete.
Since earliest times, craft has evolved, with innovation and the development of new tools enabling makers to create objects and artworks that were previously impossible or extremely difficult. This is certainly the case with 3D printing, as it allows me to produce objects that I could not previously create on the potter’s wheel. However, I firmly believe that all tools have their place and 3D printing does not replace them. As artists and makers, we simply have some new tools to choose from and can develop the craft skills required to fully exploit them.