My poor 3D printer hasn’t been getting the attention I thought it would this year, but I did get to give it one solid workout a few months back in a project I did with the always amazing Audrey Thomas-Hayes.

(ps. Check out this interview with her in i-D magazine! what a star…)

Audz and I collaborated on a piece for the Browser exhibition that Alexandra McCloud Gibson curated for VAMFF 2014 and was nice enough to invite us to participate in.

With a theme around how browsers and the internet have shaped style for the current generation, Audz and I got pretty ‘meta’ and collaborated exclusively via the internet… admittedly more as a geographical necessity, but also, you know, for artistic merit *cough*.

We bounced ideas initially via a Pinterest secret board…

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Then we emailed files back and forward to arrive at a single concept…

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Then I got to work on modelling up shapes whilst Audrey experimented with leather and real-world forms…

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We emailed constantly to get approval and inspiration from each other and were able to lock down the major idea pretty quickly. The wonders of the modern world.

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I printed out some miniature samples to make sure the proportions were correct, and then started printing the master forms for the crystal geode inserts…

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I posted the masters to Audz who made silicone molds and then got to work on casting the resin shapes, whilst I printed out the other major pieces…

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I filmed a whole lot of printer stuff that we intended to use as a projection in the gallery space to show the process. We set up a DropBox account to share the massive files and Audz edited the clips together.

The final hurdle was how to display the actual pieces… and seeing as Audrey has developed quite the interest in curation as a career path, she absolutely WENT TO TOWN on the install, making custom furniture, getting her pal Andre to set up a reflected projection setup and also deciding to include all of the miscellaneous production samples and failed prints to embrace the beauty of each part of the process.

This is the abstract that Audrey wrote for it (nerrrrrd)

“Conceived largely through Internet based exchanges, Rocks II was realised in two stages in the practitioners’ respective locations, Sydney and Melbourne. The project explores the duality of the geode; a rock with a crystal or mineral lined cavity. Whilst the outcome of this exploration is a pair of fully formed, 3D printed and resin cast shoes, the resulting developmental detritus is considered equally significant.

This is the second project in a series of collaborations between Steven and Audrey, incorporating 3D printing, resin casting and conventional shoemaking practice. These collaborations serve as a creative outlet and platform for ideas generation for both designers.”

… and without further ado, this is what we ended up with.

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All gallery photography by Albert Comper.

Another project out the door!

Next up for me is an in-gallery 3D printing weekend at the Powerhouse Museum in August, where I’ll attempt to do most of this sort of thing in real-time, in front of the public. eeeeeeek.