Summer Interns, Summer Projects

True to Seattle tradition, pre-4th of July weather has been overcast and cool. Regardless, we keep the studio door rolled up all day long and bees are already busying themselves on the lavender field right outside of the door. As Independence Day passes, four new Slip Rabbit interns have all but settled into the flow of the studio. Zeray Admasu is a fresh graduate of UW Mechanical Engineering, he will be working with the studio on learning more about gcode and writing gcode for form and pattern development. Alison Gray, a junior in Human Centered Design & Engineering, will also be supporting this research direction and helping Timea to connect mathematical ideas with coding. We are returning attention to space filling curves, which we started exploring in the spring, and exploring various classical computing transcription methods. An example of these, the Hilbert curve, is shown below. Caroline Slick and Eli Kahn came to Slip Rabbit from the UW design program. They will be honing their skills in form design using Rhino. Our thought is to develop similar patterns by using both geometric (Rhino) and algorithmic (coding) construction. Moving back and forth between the computer, our brainstorming blackboard and the ceramics workspace, gives studio-life a nice rhythm. Getting the clay ready, wedging, cutting, joining, handbuilding, firing, color techniques... Lots to do! Everyone is super excited about learning the language of clay as we experiment with various techniques and processes on the printed porcelain objects. 

 

Thriving Connections: ASKXXI Visit to Slip Rabbit

We'd been looking forward to the studio visit by ASKXXI (Arts + Science Knowledge Building and Sharing in the XXI Century), a group of Chilean researchers, artists, designers, and educators. Their visit is part of Slip Rabbit's outreach efforts to establish creative and thoughtful local and global channels of knowledge sharing, science visualization and engagement with various practicioners and audiences. 
During their residency in Seattle, the 2018-19 ASKXXI cohort has been exploring various lab and field work in marine and land ecology and has taken workshops focusing on state of the art digital technologies, including, VR/AR, digital illustration and, now, ceramic 3D printing. 
It was a packed morning here at Slip Rabbit. The group filled our studio (standing room only!) with laughter and their energy was contagious. After the introductions, we set up a file of the diatom model made in Cinema4D by ASKXXI faculty and Cornish Design professor, Jeff Brice. Printing it gave Timea a chance to demonstrate challenges and benefits arising from the much larger scale and from the peculiarities of the ceramic material. Compared to traditional FDM (fused deposition modeling aka extrusion) printing, clay printing has to contend with more variables, giving rise to its artistic potential. Clay, when used wisely, is one of the the most sustainable and environmentally considerate materials. The printing process creates excellent conditions for 0 (zero!) waste use and there are many research examples of experiments with 3D printed ceramic in the restoration of coral reefs and as climate-friendly low-cost, locally-sourced building materials. 
Timea also demonstrated the potential of traditional ceramic techniques, handbuilding and slipcasting, in combination with printing and discussed her current math-art research in self-generating complex systems that are based on simple rules. A number of wonderful ideas for the continuation of both our research and research paths taken by ASKXXI members arose from the visit. We are looking forward to witnessing the development of these and the positive impact on the critical environmental challenges that they may help to promote along the way. 

We are doing VR!

As described in earlier posts, spring brought several new and exciting research topics expanding our use of the ceramic 3D printer into novel areas of movement- and motion-capture. We have been testing several different types of equipment from HTC VIVE to Sense/Stage and Leap Motion and made good progress in capturing movement data and developing a work flow for using this data for object making. We greatly appreciated the suggestions of UW DXARTS professor, Afroditi Psarra, who came to visit the studio just at the right time and helped us to rethink the tools and means of data gathering.

It’s been wonderful to have a team of interns so ready for play and fun! 

Afternoon studio hours flew by with each of us taking turns donning the VIVE headset and hand trackers and drawing in space while the rest of the team was working the computers, logging data, watching out for the tester’s physical safety and, sometimes, egging her on with a giggle. Working with VR was not only immersive but also a very inspirational experience. We have envisioned many art applications that connect the body, real space and virtual space in vital and innovative ways, as well as create objects the traverse from one to the other kind of spatial experience. 

With the beginning of the summer, we are embarking on a long-term research in this direction. 

We need new equipment, a PC for running many of our Windows based software, and, over time, we are looking to add a second printer. 

A little over one year ago, we started very small with modest ambitions. For any creative activity though, especially for those processes that involve technology and making of things, proper funding is critical. Our ability to push forward with this project has been given support from a 2018 4Culture Artist grant that Timea was honored to receive. In addition to this grant, we continue to be looking for and always welcome new collaborators and auxiliary funding sources. If you’d like to contribute, please send us a message through our CONTACT page. 

Visitors, Field Trips, and New Research Paths

Slip Rabbit is receiving a number of inquiries in these past months. We've been hearing from many of you in tech, math, research, education, and maker communities near and far. We are honored to be asked, deeply enjoying the dialogue, and very excited about all these newly forming partnerships. Please keep them coming!

The last look at our studio blackboard (the ever-changing platform of our research notes and an ephemeral sort-of-archive of all our brainstorming sessions) noted no less than SIX project directions, many of them will probably last us for years. 

This month, we are welcoming Matt Conroy of UW Math, who has done animation work with cellular automata (CA) and Seth Friedman, who is a physicists and an expert on various 3D scanning and manufacturing methods for medical practice. Both Matt and Seth also have an active art practice. Interestingly, many new techniques in medical practice are quite similar to those used in our studio. To demonstrate, we printed a scan of a set of teeth generously shared by Dr. Lemke of our neighborhood Dental Clinic.

Our most recent connection is with ASKXXI: Arts + Science Knowledge Building and Sharing in the XXI Century, a pioneering exchange program fostering US-Chile cooperation and collaboration in the arts, emerging technologies and the ecological sciences. A group of students and scientists from Chile will visit us in June to learn about printing with clay. 

Slip Rabbit is currently seeking grant support and sponsorship that will allow us to expand into working with megatronics and other sensor based software systems. Timea took a Sense/Stage workshop with Jonathan Reus. This week, we visited the offices of Motion Workshop and got a great demo of the Shadow MoCap system from Luke and Eric.

 

Spring Updates: Studio Sale, New Interns + New Collaborations

The beginning of spring brought the usual temperamental April weather to Seattle. We had our fair share of storms, hot summery days, and seemingly endless rains. The garden in front of our studio is thriving though and bathing us in a cavalcade of scents, colors, and other miracles of nature. 

It’s been so busy in and outside of the studio that I could hardly keep up with documentation here on our blog. 

Timea was invited as a visiting artist to the Glass Museum in Tacoma, where she experimented with various innovative and experimental technical solutions for combining blown glass and 3D printed porcelain. She is the first to pursue such direction at the Museum of Glass, and as far as we could find out, anywhere in the world.

Our two new interns, Pooja and Soham have been settling in and learning a lot about the ceramic process with 3D printing. Both have a background in math and will also be working with Daria, who is a returning intern at Slip Rabbit and a graduating senior in math at the UW. 

We are programming! It takes a village but the process is so much fun and very different from the usual digital 3D construction process. Using some mathematical ideas, we are pursuing unique self-generating patterns that are still based on rules but have more opportunities for chance and randomness. We are grateful to our wonderful collaborators, consultants, and fellow tinkerers who are with us along the way, be that with math questions, programming, server upgrades, or connections to expand into new research ideas. We have a lot on our plate and our minds as we are thinking about next year and beyond. 

Lastly, time has come to parse through our research reference archives and make room on our shelves for new work to come. On Sunday, April 29th, we are opening our doors for a Studio Spring-Clean Sale, 3-6pm.

Snapshots from Spring Open House and So Long Interns

Thanks for all of you who came out to support Slip Rabbit and to see what we do. We were excited to welcome so many new friends and potential collaborators too!

Yesterday's Slip Rabbit Spring Open House was terrific. We all had so much fun and lots of exciting conversations. At first though, our Potterbot had a bit of performance anxiety and did not want to print the large and wacky piece we selected for the demo (and refused to do anything until 2 minutes before people started arriving!!!). We got around its reluctance at the end by loading a smaller file and everything was working just fine for the rest of the afternoon. Sighhh....

I'm so proud of my winter quarter interns, Annabelle, Daria, and Fryda, who were holding down the studio and not just during the Open House. These amazing young women are smart and talented designers, scientists, and artists whom I can always rely on for hard work, smart conversations, and good cheer. 

We've accomplished so much this past months and looking forward to the spring with more ideas and more things to try.

We will open the studio again for a Mother's Day Studio sale on Sunday, April 29th. 

Tilings

The most exciting thing about working with technology is the serendipitous ways ideas detour from one path to another...

We were looking for process-based solutions for using surfaces (i.e. Rhino plug-ins) when came across tilings. Slip Rabbit being a bunch of math nerds, we immediately picked up the thread and started looking at various ways surfaces can be tiled, mathematically. Plug-ins, softwares, and algorithms are great and very helpful at times but they don't do everything. Even if they do, someone had programmed them for "most usual cases" but not for our corky ideas. 

We find that we get more out of the process by going back to basics: understanding the math first to understand the possibilities, and then launching from that solid platform with creating new pieces.

This way we got to 2, 3 and 4 color tilings and then to making those even more dimensional and exciting. We love the results so much that we are making tilings our second research path for the spring. 

Spring Open House on March 17, 2018

Our fall Open House was a great success and immediately after we started receiving inquiries about the next one. Here it is:

We are opening the studio to visitors on the afternoon of Saturday, March 17th.

Come to see Slip Rabbit in action and meet the fall interns. We will also be doing printing demos and project presentations, and yes, there will be a cup sale again, snacks and drinks, as well as a debut of the new Slip Rabbit T-shirts!!!

 

SlipRAbbit_WINFeb2018_web_20.JPG

Research Update: Code making

Working with the cellular automata has been fascinating and has opened many possibilities for form and concept, which we've been exploring widely. The files are enormous and the mathematical and formal design work is extremely time consuming. Some of the finished early test pieces are here (one of our new Slip Rabbit cups also makes an appearance in the last photo). The cylinders are 11.5" heigh.

Glaze kilns are out

The new research with cellular automata keeps the studio very busy these days but finally managed to get all of the pieces from the past two months glazed and fired! They are just out of the kiln and photographed on the studio table. There are new Slip Rabbit cups as well. They will be available for purchase during our second Open House on March 17th and on http://quickrabbitdesigns.bigcartel.com/

Web Shop Opens on Bigcartel

We are excited to announce the opening of our sister label's store, the QuickRabbit Designs Web Shop on Bigcartel. QuickRabbit Designs features unique functional, sculptural, and jewelry design objects by Timea. 

All sales support the mission of Slip Rabbit programs in digital ceramics and helps us keep our studio open to students, artists residents, and research collaborators. 

webshop copy.jpg

New Slip Rabbit Logo

Our wonderful graphic designer in residence, Eli Kahn, has designed us a logo that we believe expresses the raison d'etre of Slip Rabbit: Collaboration, Dynamism, and Playfulness.

Two pink rabbits running around in a circle (or turning like spokes around a hub) represents the studio's mission of interdisciplinary research and education, creating partnerships and a welcoming atmosphere of inventing, problem-solving and making, and the role the studio plays by bringing the digital process into the traditional craft of ceramics. 

combined_SR_logo.png

Winter Research Focus: Logic of Things

This week, we have made great advance in two significant areas for printing algorithmic patterns: On one hand, working with mathematician Sara Billey, now we have a way to use cellular automata rules to generate codes for algorithmic patterns. I really appreciated learning from Sara more about the math behind this. It is inspiring to see how beautifully complex systems may be created from using a set of simple rules. On the other hand, we now have a method for turning the code into 3D forms and to apply it as texture on larger forms. 

You can find some images below and more on Instagram

Welcoming 2 new interns and research collaborator, Prof. Sara Billey

This January, two new interns joined Slip Rabbit. Daria Micovic is a senior in math and Frida Saucedo is a senior in art at the UW. We are also excited about our collaboration with Professor Billey of UW Math on coding and printing rule based patterns, such as Cellular Automata (CA). We are exploring ways similar to the CA that generate infinite variations of pattern in both 2D and 3D. There are lots of ways to go with this process... In the studio, we had already developed two reliable methods for the application of patterns to forms and created weaving textures with these. This time, we would like to put an emphasis on creating the patterning rules by algorithmic means and learning more about why some of these create order while others unravel in chaos. 

Below are some of the patterns. 

New photos of Fall Projects

Lagging behind a bit with the finishing of many of our wonderful fall projects. All recent pieces have been on a much larger scale (around 30cm's, appr. 12") with lots of delicate details, taking more time to dry properly and to fit into the firing schedule. These are very unique forms with finishes that are really coming together now. 

 

Goodbye Fall Interns!

Slip Rabbit interns learn about every aspect of digital ceramics: they gain skills with the software and form design, working with clay and handling the machine and have a chance to create something on their own too. 

Three amazing interns are concluding their internship this week. Annabelle, Kate and Qing brought their wonderful exuberance to Slip Rabbit. For the past 3 months (6 for Qing), while plotting and revising designs together, fighting with the CAD software (damn "boolian union"!), tending the print and putting finishing touches on the bisque work we have been chatting and laughing away many hours. 

IMG_20171220_183719.jpg

Wishing you great success with your next projects. We will miss you!! 

 

Holiday cheer at Slip Rabbit

The end of the year sneaked up on us. How did we find out? For several weeks now, our studio snack table has been overflowing with cups, each made at the end of printing of the day's worth of work to use up the leftover porcelain in the tube. We love these cups and have amassed a good number of them since the Open House! Their eclectic designs journal the history of our research ideas and the cups themselves also represent each and every wonderful hand that has worked on it, designing, printing, cleaning or painting, and each and every amazing Slip Rabbit intern who has come through the studio.

In addition, and because our team can never-never-ever throw anything away (not even the coil that comes out at priming the printer), printing and clay failures were transformed into jewelry by Timea. 

We opened the studio on this past Saturday for a last minute holiday sale. Here are a few pix from that:

 

Weaving with the clay printer

Our recent experiments with complex loop patterns have also been getting us closer and closer to the ultimate goal of this research chapter: weaving and knotting techniques. After researching numerous sources on basketry, tapestry, on/off loom weaving, crochet, knitting, even macrame (remember macrame?), we've been considering various translations of these into 3D printed textures using our Potterbot7 printer. In many ways, a cylinder is the most ideal form in the first phrase of experimentation, so once again, we've made lots of cylinders. But gradually, as our digital toolkit for the design processes of knots and weaves developed, we’ve also became able to wrap patterns around forms or compose them into larger and more complicated vessels.

Material Matters Symposium: New Craft

 Silicone 3D printer made by Material Matters

Silicone 3D printer made by Material Matters

On November 17th, we took a day trip to Vancouver B.C. to attend the New Craft Symposium, organized by the Material Matters Lab at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

It was inspiring to see various projects, which expand the notion of craft into areas of design, art, fashion, technology, architecture, and social practice. The conversation about the role of makers and experimental practices of making that are in core collaborative and community oriented was equally fascinating. We came away with lots of new ideas.