Electroformed Vessel

Here it is…The culmination of the past few months of planning, designing, printing and making. I am pretty proud of this piece, it is the first object I have gotten to make since graduating. I have somewhere over 120 hours of work put into this piece. It is something that is purely made for artistic reasons the ‘just because’ factor. It has been an issue for me since graduation I have been only making production jewelry and nothing that is large and in depth and has some type of meaning behind it. This project has taught me a lot about where I want to take my practice, what I trying to communicate in my practice, creating an object of this scale and there is still plenty I need to learn before I can truly refine this. This piece has a lot of meaning aside from what is said in my artist statement, it holds a moment of transition and is a milestone in my own life. I hope to continue taking these concepts and create more in this series…I have many more ideas I need to express and share. I hope to continue this onward into grad school, I have every possible combination fingers crossed and hopefully I will get accepted. If I don’t I will push forward regardless and find a way to continue making while maintaining my other responsibilities in life.  I hope you all enjoy it even if it is just purely aesthetically pleasing to you.

I will post process photos in the next week or so, I have to do some organizing of all the photos.

                                                                        Artist Statement

My work currently explores the value of digitally fabricated objects in both digital and tangible space. Throughout my life I have been intertwined with technology and have dedicated much time to digital reality.  After having many personal experiences and much growth inside of the digital space, I find myself with strong sentimental attachments to objects that only exist in the digital realm. Does that object truly exist ,though? I would state that, to an extent, it does. Due to most of the making process occurring inside of the virtual space, an intimate relationship is formed where I become very familiar with the virtual object, having to build, measure, attach, rebuild and ultimately become aware of every aspect of the object, literally inside and out. Through this process I find myself to be content with the virtual rendering itself. As an artist I feel that I am obligated to assist the viewer in gaining the same level of appreciation I have for the virtual object. 

The obligation comes from wanting to share the experiences I get to have with the virtual object with those are not acquainted with CAD.  Without a tangible object, the experience is lost to the viewer and communication no longer works. By bringing the virtual model into our tangible reality, it allows the viewer to engage in a similar experience to the one I share with the virtual object. They are able to see it in their own familiar reality and inspect its elements to their content, producing a visceral understanding. The viewer can now share the more intimate moments that I had in creating the object.

To facilitate this moment for the viewer, I use 3D printing to generate the model into tangible reality. Using 3D printing allows for quick manufacturing of the virtual object. This process, however, creates a problem of lost craftsmanship, which dilutes the intimate moments I once shared with the virtual object, and in turn dilutes the experience for the viewer. To bridge the gap between our different perceptions, I use a process called electroforming. I make the printed object conductive and run a small current through the object, which slowly grows copper over the surface. This process allows me to elevate the object to a material used traditionally in metalsmithing.  Materials such as copper and silver allow the object to resonate with the viewer in a familiar way.  The object now starts to have a substance close to the original moments I shared with it.  Through the finishing process I transform the object even more to relate the object to the viewer so we can share a similar experience.


Untitled Vessel #1
8” x 10” x 10″
PLA, Copper

Photo Credit: Derek Rickert


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