Welcome to NewsFile, our bi-weekly round-up of the latest news in the worlds of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art. This week, we have some squishy sponges made from ceramic nanofibers, a design exhibition you won’t want to miss and, of course, much more!
Check Mate! New Book Showcases Exquisite Chess Sets
Transforming a game of the minds into a feast of the eyes, Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World In an explores the chess board as form of sculpture, and draws from a 1944 exhibition featuring artist designed sets, Hyperallergic reports.
In 1944, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst organized the group exhibition Imagery of Chess at Julien Levy Gallery, which featured paintings and sculptures of new designs of chess pieces. Thirty-two artists including Man Ray, Dorothea Tanning, and Isamu Noguchi contributed their visions of the board game.
The book serves as a pictorial survey of various sets each accompanied by short essays on their histories by a number of chess experts. One such example is that by sculptor Max Esser, who transformed pearly Meissen porcelain into tiny sculptures of sea life, all set on a board that resembles the white foam of ocean waves. Others include German designers Michael and Anton Edel, Josef Hartwig and Takako Saito.
Tate Modern Puts Visitors to Work in Ceramics Factory
Visitors to a new Tate Modern installation will be asked to roll their sleeves up and get to work. It’s all part of the museum’s most ambitious commissions yet, a ceramics production line installation which will take up the entire fifth floor of its extension, The Guardian reports. Behind Tate Modern’s Factory: The Seen and the Unseen is non other than Clare Twomey.
“If people feel they can take up a job on the bench they will be welcomed by the already working factory team there. Or they can take up other smaller jobs like pushing things, or mopping the floor.”
Twomey adds she hopes visitors feel they are on a journey learning in a hands-on, immersive experience. Additionally, the project explores labor.
The project explores production and collective labour, both the apparent and the unseen. The first week will be the working one while in week two visitors will be invited to enter a factory soundscape and join a factory tour to discuss how communities are built by collective labour.
Factory: The Seen and the Unseen opens at Tate Modern on September 28, 2017.
Spongy Material Made from Tangled Ceramic Nanofibers
Brown University researchers have developed an ultra lightweight spongey material made from a traditionally brittle medium—ceramic. The university writes their highly porous, deformable and heat-resistant sponges could have numerous uses.
As anyone who has ever dropped a flower vase knows well, ceramics are brittle materials. Cracks in ceramics tend to propagate quickly, leading to catastrophic failure with even the slightest deformation. While that’s true for all traditional ceramics, things are different at the nanoscale.
To create the material, the researchers tangled extruded nanofibers in a new process called blow-spinning.
The process uses air pressure to drive a liquid solution containing ceramic material through a tiny syringe aperture. As the liquid emerges, it quickly solidifies into nanoscale fibers that are collected in a spinning cage. The collected material is then heated, which burns away the solvent material leaving a mass of tangled ceramic nanofibers that looks a bit like a cotton ball.
The nanofibers will allow researchers to harness the thermal characteristics of ceramic material with the flexibility of a sponge (see just how flexible in the video below). Researchers say the material could be used to line firefighter suits or in water purifiers.
The work, a collaboration between Brown and Tsinghua University in China, is described in the journal Science Advances.
Mark Your Calendars! designjunction Heads to King’s Cross
designjunction returns to the King’s Cross site September 21 – 24 as part of this year’s annual London Design Festival (September 16 – 24, 2017). The exhibition features a mix of the world’s most iconic design brands in global furniture, lighting, accessory, material and technology brands exhibiting alongside pop-up shops, installations and interactive features.
designjunction is the UK’s most important interior design event. With excellent transport links, designjunction is a meeting point for architects, specifiers and design-savvy consumers during the London Design Festival.
We’ll continually update our NewsFile throughout the week, so stay tuned.
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