Digital Craft

Tags: Tacit Knowledge, Craftsmanship, Tangible Interface
Time: 2016 – Now
Advisor: Michael Nistche

How do we appreciate pottery through the lens of digital media? How can the craftsmanship be captured through digital media?

In this project, the goal is to explore the craftsmanship of risk described by Pye using digital media. Pulling is an important process in pottery. In the process of pulling clay, there are a lot of risks involved that the potter has to have precise control of the force he or she applied on the clay to successfully form the wall of a pot. This is considered the craftsmanship of risk. Audience are often only exposed to the craft object but not the processes. Through digital media, audience will be able to perceive the craft from a new angle in which the processes and the control of the processes can be perceived. This is considered to be a new means for the communication between the audience and crafter.

The story started between me and my crafter Daphne. I was learning pottery from Daphne and one day she was critiquing about my pulling technique. She told me that by looking at those marks created by pulling, she could know how exactly I pulled the wall. The uneven marks on the wall of the pot actually showed how impatient I was when I did the pull. Then I started to notice those amazing marks and kept thinking about how these marks are actually created by the movements and force of the crafter. These marks, those imperfectly even marks are the traces of human involvement. And one’s level of skillfulness can be observed through those marks.

Can digital media be employed in making those marks? Can digital media trace them or even recreate them?

I started my search for a way to capture the essence about those marks. Marks are interaction between human and the clay. More specifically, interaction between the force and surface. Then, a tool is created, as the media between human and clay, allows the force to be applied, detected, and represented.

*This research project is still in its initial phase so no more details can be made public at this time. Drop me a line to know more details.