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UNFOLD. The transaction project, blown glass in printed ceramics

The Transaction Project takes aspects of craft as the basis for a network of production. Building on two years of investigation, the project brings together the work of Swedish artist researcher Charles Stern, studio Unfold and British ceramicist Jonathan Keep. Working with a technique that applies 3D printing to the problem of ceramic and glass compatibility, the group has created an iterative process that allows for rapid testing of materials and form. The results are composite objects that possess integrity toward handmade and digital skills.

At the core of the project is a technical innovation: the combination of 3D printed ceramic moulds with blown glass. Through a long period of material testing in collaboration with many different actors, a process has emerged which addresses the compatibility issues between clay and glass. Few works successfully combine these materials in a hot state because clay and glass possess different rates of contraction and expansion.

Charles Stern has initiated an investigation into this problem and with the help of experts including Jonathan keep and Unfold, has identified a working method that uses ceramic 3d printers and traditional glassblowing. This is significant for artistic practice and material science because it opens up a new language of form and offers an inexpensive, non patented method to explore these two ‘incompatible’ materials.

The project builds on previous studies from 2013-2015 including residency and work periods at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm (Sweden), Corning Museum of Glass in Corning (USA), Design Studio Unfold & GlazenHuis (Belgium) and The Glass Factory in Småland (Sweden).

Produced with the support of Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Corning Museum of Glass, The Glass Factory en Emmaboda Kommun, Småland (Sweden), The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the Flemish Government.