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Hand-made and technological precision meet in a dripping machine

Hand-made and technological precision meet in a dripping machine to creating ceramics with individual structures, patterns and textures.

Carla Joachim and Jordan Morineau, who make up Studio Joachim-Morineau, created the machine to expand the field of ceramics by fusing together the precision of technology with a human touch – or “glitches” as they call it – to make objects that are both unique and mathematical. Moca, in particular, is a ceramic research based on a dripping machine.

 

The machine drips liquid clay at a particular rhythm to create open structured ceramics. It is composed of two main parts – a computer-controlled rotating platform and a dripping system. A plaster mould is placed and centered on the platform and is turned via a simple motor, with its speed determined by a pre-set computer code.

This duo designed and built the industrial machine that drips liquid porcelain, or earthenware, at a particular rhythm to create a series of cups and bowls with various structures and patterns.

The project Moca is divided in three parts: open structures, graphics and textures.

Liquid clay is then poured into a container attached to the top of the dripping system. By opening the tap, liquid clay feeds through a nozzle and starts to drip, landing on the plaster mould. The diameter of the nozzle can be changed depending on the desired drip size.

As the duo told, not everything can be controlled in the process. The flow can be irregular, for instance, or the liquidity of clay can vary depending on the vibration of the machine, influencing the outcome.

“Our machine is the link between crafts and industries,” said Studio Joachim-Morineau. “We can produce the same object at almost an industrial level, however each piece is unique.”

“We are giving a frame to the pieces that are going to be made – by the shape of the mould and the computer program – but we let the material create its own path, and these differences give the ceramics a natural, human character,” they added.  Joachim and Morineau used the machine to explore three different ceramic techniques. The first is open structures, which sees different ceramic structures formed by dripping clay at a constant speed onto moulds of different angles.

The constant speed of rotation and dripping flow causes the drops to always land on the same spot, while gravity pulls them slowly towards the centre of the plaster mould. Eventually, the layers accumulate and form a self-supporting structure. By using moulds of varied angles, different open structures can be made – some moulds are wide, shallow and smooth, while others are narrow and ridged.

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