Tectonic Horizons - Radical Craft / Joshua G. SteinTectonic Horizons - Radical Craft / Joshua G. SteinTectonic Horizons - Radical Craft / Joshua G. SteinTectonic Horizons - Radical Craft / Joshua G. Stein

Tectonic Horizons is a modular component system that exploits the hybridization between digital fabrication techniques and traditional ceramic processes, specifically slip casting. Ceramic slip casting creates hollow vessels with precise details and is used in the production of everything from porcelain figurines and tableware to larger objects such as toilets and sinks.

Tectonic Horizons investigates the potential for digital techniques to impact the fabrication process as well as their effect on form, implying larger scales of architectural space and landscape. Rather than using a physical model or pattern to cast plaster molds, these forms initially exist only as virtual models. The negative form is directly milled into plaster blanks eliminating the analog process of mold-making. The absence of any 'real' physical model liberates the precision of fabrication from expectations of fidelity to this original 'model' of perfection. Instead, process (e.g. CNC routing) gains a stronger role in determining the form and performance of the final object. This interlocking system of slip-cast ceramic modules takes advantage of the texture created by the machining process to channel vision from the striated exterior surfaces towards intricate interior spaces.

While each cast from the mold is identical, a series of post-process cutting operations embeds a new layer of differentiation into each piece. This investigation into the opportunities of hybridizing the processes of ceramic slip-casting and CAD/CAM manufacturing questions the traditional mold-making process by integrating contemporary notions of mass customization with the economies of scale inherent in mold/cast systems. The process capitalizes on the potential of one mother-mold to create a family of casts that are then differentiated through a set of subtractive modifications. Produced in residence at the European Ceramic Workcentre (EKWC)

Project Collaborators:

Parametric Modeling: Andrew Heumann

Digital Mold Fabrication: Frank Parish

Ceramic Casting: Winston Nanlohy