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I was recently invited to contribute to the Fuse project, a Future Makers initiative run by the Craft Council of Ireland. The event coincided with Dublin Design Week 5-11 November 2012, with presentations at the Science Gallery and workshops at NCAD.

I was paired with two craft practitioners, award winning ceramicist Jackie Maurer, and Noel Forde a furniture maker, and set the task of re-imagining their work through new digital fabrication technologies to fuse design with craft.

My two concepts aimed to focus on the respective makers existing processes, and challenge our collective preconceptions. The results are displayed and described below:

Alex Milton meets Jackie Maurer

FUSE project 2.002

Design Proposal:
The creation of a series of dual function laser cut honeycomb paper and/or tyvek ‘ruffs’ that act as modelling tools as well as display bases for Jackie Maurer’s ceramic neckpieces.

FUSE project 2.003

These ruffs reference historic garments, while providing an organic anthropomorphic form that alludes to a dressmakers dummy. They have a shaped bottom enabling them to rock, and respond to a viewers need to touch. The sacrificial paper ruffs will retain the patina of the clay forms draped over them, while imprinting the inner surface of the ceramic with a delicate textile like texture.

FUSE project 2.005

The proposed ‘tools’ become artefacts in their own right, to be displayed alongside the finished ceramics, drawing attention to the art of the designer makers. Alternatively the Ceramic neckpieces can be displayed on ’soiled’ or ‘virginal’ ruffs.

Alex Milton meets Noel Forde

FUSE project 2.006

Design Proposal:
The creation of a laser cut and etched table runner to complement Noel Forde’s Arts and Craft Cherry Side Table.

FUSE project 2.007

Inspired by the Arts and Craft movement, period crochet runners and formal leather writing pads, the concept seeks to provide a digitally fabricated fusion of fine furniture and abstracted floral textile patterns.FUSE project 2.008

The runner’s central section will be a laser etched rigid cherry veneer featuring a number of integral functional vessels. The runner then transforms at either end into a laser cut articulated wooden and leather fractal fabric before dematerialising further to reveal a laser cut felt base.

The Fuse project aimed to give new perspectives and lay the ground for future collaborations between craft, design and new technology, and I look forward to the next steps.

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