Collaboration and Consulting with KU Architecture / by Alexander Thierry

In the past year, I have been lucky to be a consultant and collaborator on a few projects completed in the University of Kansas Architecture Department.  Things all started as a work trade situation with Professor Keith Van de Riet.  I was helping with some technical ceramic skills for the architecture students in his class and in return, I could sit in on some Rhino 3D tutorials.  After getting some basics, learning Rhino takes a bunch of practice.  As I was trying to get a bunch of work done on my thesis, I cannot say that I kept up with the architecture students.  I did, however, get a bunch out of teaching the students how to make plaster molds and advising them on how to make their models better for mold making.

 A one part mold being made from CNC milled piece of foam

A one part mold being made from CNC milled piece of foam

 Students pressing clay into the molds

Students pressing clay into the molds

After the students pressed the molds, and they made a ton of tiles, each tile was fired and then assembled together.  This project was fantastic and the final outcome looked amazing.  An article about the project can be found HERE, it has all the names for credit on this project.  Another article can be found HERE.  Some final photos of the project are below.

In keeping with the technology and clay theme of this project, I invited the students into my studio to see my ceramic 3D printer.  In talking with Keith, his curiosity grew and he soon asked me to build him a 3D printer for his research, to further this project, and to have the tool over in KU Architecture.  With the skills that I learned from Bryan Czibesz in the summer of 2016, I built a printer with Keith yesterday and the completed all black design is pictured below.  Overall, I am kind of sad to be leaving KU just as I am finding some really interesting paths of collaborating and consulting.  As much as KU Art and KU Architecture and Design are divided, there are ways to work together and share the resources of both schools.  I am very glad that I was able to get this opportunity to not only share some ceramic techniques and skills but also to make connections and see ceramics working in a different capacity than I usually see or recognize. 

 The all black color schemed 3D ceramic printer for Keith Van de Riet and KU Architecture

The all black color schemed 3D ceramic printer for Keith Van de Riet and KU Architecture