Michael is an Australian artist who
work ranges from 2D and 3D gallery pieces to
works for public spaces.
Use of Technology
Michael uses modern manufacturing technology to help create some
of his work.
Computer software and modern computer controlled machinery were
used in the
creation of the piece shown below.
Work for Sculpture By The Sea, a public art exhibition along
Sydney's eastern suburbs beaches.
Why Use Technology?
Artists such as Michelangelo used apprentices to do a lot of
the time consuming
manual work, even on their greatest pieces. The artist would
direct their apprentices
and then personally work on the fine details of the piece. An
example is the apprentice
cutting away un-needed material for a sculpture. The artist would
step in near the end
and personally finish the piece with their own hands. The fact
that someone else did
some of the work in no way diminishes the value or authenticity
of the artwork.
Similarly, computer software and computer controlled
machinery can be considered the modern day version
of the artist's apprentice. It is merely a silicon chip based tool
for the artist to work with. The artistic integrity of a piece
still lies in the ideas and
inspiration of the artist. Even with modern technology, artists
are often required to
provide final hand detailing of the work.
Using the Tools
Michael has a number of computer tools, one of which is the
Roland MDX-20 3D
scanner and CNC mill. Michael has primarily used the MDX-20
to scan objects.
Michael has used 2D and 3D design software packages '3D Engrave'
included with the Roland MDX-20.
An example of how Michael uses the technology is illustrated
in the piece below.
used a photograph of his daughter to create a 3D ceramic piece.
The picture was scanned into the computer and imported
by '3D Engrave'. '3D
Engrave' converted the picture into a 3D computer model.
The 3D model was cut by the Roland MDX-20 CNC mill. The
3D files that '3D Engrave' creates can be exported for cutting
on other machines, not just
The 3D model was then cut into pattern making wax
to make a master pattern. A
ceramic part was then created, glazed and fired.
Another example is the Chairman Mao 'Lifesaver' piece.
An original brass piece
was 3D scanned in the Roland scanner (shown below). The
3D computer model of
Chairman Mao was then integrated with other parts in
a 3D design program.
The final design was then cut on a larger cutting machine.
Benefits of Technology
The use of computer technology in sculpture is becoming
more common. The
technology adds new dimensions to explore ideas as
well as providing efficiencies in
producing artwork. Computer technology is ideally suited
for precise, complex or
time consuming tasks.