The concept behind this project is to prepare a computer-generated
object as a body for URUSHI (Japanese lacquer) work encompassing
the sense of nature and fluidity.
In craft, material and tools have always been closely related
to each other, even born of one another. In ceramics, the
potter's wheel enables one to form clay in a round shape
but not a square one. In glass, the size of pieces is limited
by the capacity of the kiln. In weaving the fixed width
of the loom restricts the weaver. Therefore, in craft the
shape of a piece largely depends on the tools that you use.
Furthermore, some tools have greater limitations than others,
but this can add intrigue where the practitioner must consider
how they might conquer these difficulties and where new
ideas might develop. As such, the relationship between tools
and objects in crafts practice is very important.
The same thing applies to the computer system when considered
as a craft tool. Seemingly, it can do anything, but it has
in turn its own unique limitations, with many unknown factors.
But as with the more conventional tools, the greater these
limits, the more one might create the unpredictable. As
a traditionally trained craftsperson, this very contemporary
problem is fascinating, and one might describe it as COMPUTER
Numerous organic curves can be found in the natural world
and it is these elements that I am bringing into my practice.
First, selected curves from nature are extracted and put
into CG software. This can be used to connect curves, when
placed in close distance from each other, thus creating
a seamless surface. Results can be surprising as even after
careful placement, the outcome is unpredictable. Sometimes
it may come out as very plane shape and others very complicated,
but inevitably unexpected. By next applying this to the
Rapid Prototype system (See next page),
it is possible to produce a real piece in this form. These
unusual, fluid and smooth shapes have special appeal and
I was inspired to apply URUSHI to their surfaces.
While the shapes of the natural world are created by invisible
forces, it might be said that these objects are either reconstructions
or reincarnations of the invisible latent figures of nature,
discovered through the use of unpredictable digital technology.
The application of URUSHI onto the resultant object, emphasizes
its unique qualities, and shows true organic value in the
June 2003/Kenji Toki
Toki] [Current project] [Rapid prototyping]