Welcome to NewsFile, your weekly roundup of news from the worlds of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art! This week we bring to you philanthropic tiles, a ceramic science discovery, innovative technology and more! Let’s jump off with a cool tiny robot.
Meet EleksEgg, the Tiny Art Robot
With Mardi Gras Tuesday, we know Easter is just around the corner, and EleksMaker Studio has developed a tiny new art robot that allows users to create intricate works of art on an elusive surface: Eggshell.
Made from aluminum alloy, the aptly named “EleksEgg” is capable of light-duty marking and drawing on smooth and soft materials’ surface like egg, glass, stone, and even ceramic. Geeky-Gadgets writes the electric engraving system allows users, even those who claim to struggle drawing stick figures, to become artists.
You don’t have to be an a artist; with our unique stenciling system, it can create colorful and fantastic artworks.
– An EleksEgg is a compact, easy to use art robot that can draw on small spherical and egg-shaped objects.
– EleksEgg have been used as educational and artistic pieces in museums and workshops.
– An EleksEgg is a highly adjustable machine, designed to draw on all kinds of things that are normally “impossible” to print on.
– Not just eggs but Ping pong balls, golf balls, lacrosse balls, large marbles, stone balls, ball bearings, mini pumpkins, light bulbs, holiday ornaments and wine glasses are just some of the other items that have been drawn on. You can print on almost anything that’s sturdy, spherical or ellipsoidal, will fit in the robot, and has a fairly smooth surface. – Kickstarter
Earth’s Magnetic Field Chronicled in Ceramics
The New Yorker published a mega-cool read earlier this month. Marcia Bjornerud writes that archeologic materials, such as ceramic vessels, have held onto an oracular secret: records of shifts in the Earth’s magnetic field.
When clay is fired, it essentially forms a metamorphic (insert favorite ceramic shape) rock, which has inherent particle properties.
For this sort of remnant magnetism to form, the object generally must have been heated and then cooled through its Curie temperature—the threshold, named for Pierre, at which iron-oxide particles will align themselves with the ambient magnetic field.
Through the study of these particles, scientists have accomplished the most detailed reconstruction of the Earth’s magnetic field using a set of ceramic jars from Iron Age Judea.
The clay jars (now fragments), which were not made with any particular care and were likely used to hold wine or olive oil, can be confidently dated back to between 750 and 150 B.C. thanks to the identifying royal stamps on their handles, the New Yorker writes.
The oldest jar studied revealed the magnetic field was 40-percent stronger when it was formed than it is now – such an event today would cause catastrophic disruption of the electrical grid and satellite communications upon which society heavily relies.
Given the importance of a stable magnetic field to our electricity-dependent, communications-obsessed culture, these questions are of more than academic interest. The makers of these old jars, diligently stamping handles with the royal brand, had no idea that they were contributing to a twenty-first-century debate about the very heart of the planet. One wonders what unintentional messages the objects we leave behind will carry into the future.
New ceramic plated protective work gloves attribute their inspiration and design to something fishy. The American Ceramic Society writes the super-tough scales of the fierce Alligator Gar fish have been used by humans for centuries to make anything from breastplates to arrowheads.
Part of that toughness comes from the materials that make up the scales, which include a layer of dentine (the mineralized material is also found inside human teeth) and a layer of inorganic bone salt. But it’s also the design and configuration of these scales that provide the gar with armor protection.
The scales are tough and protective, yet still flexible. Scientists at McGill University in Canada have been trying to emulate that effect to develop protective work gloves in order to decrease the number of workplace hand injuries.
Their solution: Small overlapping ceramic tiles.
By using computer modeling, they were able to determine the optimal size, shape, arrangement, and overlap to make protective gloves that are much more resistant to piercing than those currently in use.
In Plain Sight, Speakers in Disguise
Many households have speakers in their homes for listening to music, an insightful podcast or audiobook, and, of course, to watch a thrilling movie. That’s precisely why, as TrendHunter writes, KEAS has created a product disguised in plain sight – as a clever ceramic bowl.
Looking like a simple ceramic bowl, the KEAS MOV-1 speaker system is capable of offering a completely wireless experience thanks to Bluetooth and aptX technology that’s built-in.
According to KEAS, its MOV-1 speaker looks like modern decor in order to seamlessly integrate into the modern home.
KEAS believes that everyday objects possess a dichotomy of form and function. More than a sound system, KEAS is piece of exquisite ceramic art.
We think it’s pretty ingenious. Check out the KEAS MOV-1 E-Brochure.
Spread the Love with Ceramic Tiles
Casa Cubista has released its Love Home Tiles. But these tiles aren’t merely home decor, they also help aid refugees. All the proceeds from every tile sold, which cost approximately $16 each, go to the United Nations Refugee Agency. Through community partnerships, the agency helps safeguard the rights and well-being of people who have been forced to flee their home countries.
Make a graphic statement in your home, and help a family in need find their new home. It’s as simple as that. – Casa Cubista
Casa Cubista is based in Portugal. The name is derived from the unusual whitewashed and cubist tile buildings of the company’s home-base in Olhão along Portugal’s Algarve coast.
Do you love or loathe these news tidbits from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. Let us know what you think in the comments.