Jack makes ceramics that are inspired by natural forms and tries to give them a sense of life and movement. In 2014 his late wife Joan and he decided to experiment with printing clay using a 3D printer. There were no commercial 3D clay printers available, so they had to build one. He designed the pots in a computer aided design program and prepare the clay by wetting and hand kneading.
All pots are porcelain and are mostly coloured using body stains. The printer extrudes very thin coils of soft clay, which are pressed down in layers to build their original designs. Each new idea must be captured and developed as a detailed digital design that is practical to print in soft clay. The printing process uses all his accumulated pottery know-how. Achieving the right consistency of clay is an art in itself. He prepares the clay largely by hand to get a very soft, even consistency with no air. The new forms and textures also demand fresh approaches to colouring, glazing and firing to make the forms come alive.
The technology requires time and patience to master but the hardest part is to have a deep understanding of the material – clay. The new forms and textures demand fresh approaches to colouring, glazing and firing to make the forms come alive. 3D printing with clay remains a craft process with hands-on work over several days to achieve a good result.
3D printing makes it possible to create ceramic forms not achievable by other means. Combining art, craft and technology in a new way opens up possibilities that are fascinating to explore. This work is one of the very few examples of computer printed work at Bevere Gallery. It is the ability to create otherwise almost impossibe designs that make this such a stimulating approach to the craft.