Of Lace and Porcelain : Soft Contort

2019 FRANZ Rising Star Project



Nico Conti


Name & Concept of Artwork 作品名稱與設計理念

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Concept of artwork 設計理念:

Of Lace and Porcelain gets its title from the fine extrusions of white porcelain, as if it was lace. A tribute to my past, the comforts of tradition and the craft of Maltese lace making. My work explores the relationship between conflicting themes; traditional and contemporary, stability and weakness, order and chaos. Each side has a little of the other; there are no clear solid boundaries, and that overlap is where I draw most of my inspiration from. I express this conflict by subverting the process of clay 3D printing, transforming the uniformity of it and ultimately pushing clay to unexplored territories. The manipulation ranges from a minimal glitch in the programme to warping involuntarily when being fired in the kiln. As shifting forms become more unique at every level of manipulation, each piece takes on its own identity.

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Having lived on the small island of Malta all my life meant that I was constantly surrounded by family and tradition. Leaving the constant heat of the Mediterranean sun and building a life in the metropolis that is London has exposed me to a vast number of resources and opportunities. This sudden shift from the traditional streets of Malta to a more urban city impacted my work the most. I think of my work as being somewhere in between absolute lack of control and interposed manipulation. Without either of these, there would not be a final piece. The most challenging thing about my work is knowing when to stop experimenting and testing out new ways of making and instead start focusing on creating finished work. I try to balance out my love for material investigation and my desire to translate my findings into idealised pieces. While this proved to be challenging in the past, this shift from one way of thinking and making to another has proven to be the most interesting aspect of my work. It keeps me interested in what I am doing and also allows my work to continuously develop.


高鵬 Peng Gao

FDC Director, Secretary-general of the FDC Academic Committee

Beautiful work which uses 3D printing in an innovative way.

Christopher McHugh

Course Director of Ulster University BA Hons Ceramics, Jewellery & Silversmithing
北愛爾蘭阿爾斯特大學陶瓷、珠寶與銀器學系系主任 〈譯〉

refreshingly beautiful and interesting use of new technologies

Felicity Aylieff

Senior Tutor Research of Royal College of Art

It is a work that uses the technology of 3D printers well.

Kwanho Woo

Director of the Ceramic Research Center in Hongik University

Aesthetics: the visual aesthetics of this work is very strong. The use of 3D printing technology has been utilised very well as a way to create form but also enhance the concept of this work. The work illustrated intros application is simple, beautiful and with fine subtle details. Innovation: I feel the combination of technology with meaning and material is original in the makers concept and is meaningful for the field of contemporary ceramics and 3D printing with clay. Concept: I appreciate the concept of this work in it's exploration of material culture of lace making, porcelain/ceramics and technology - a combination of older heritages and traditions with todays digital culture. Craftsmanship: the skill level required with create a finely made piece of 3D printed ceramic object is challenging in all of its variations - this maker has strong skills and knowledge.

Rhiannon Ewing-James

Creative Producer of British Ceramics Biennial