Michael Eden- Maker


Michael creates 3D Historical styled Digitally manufactured Vessels that resemble the intricate details in Chinese ceramics, Baroque Architecture and Antique ceramic vases.

We were lucky enough for Michael to come and Lecture to us about his personal journey.

1972-1974 Michael was a Young man starting at Blackburn Tech doing Foundation, he knew he had creative potential but didn’t know he wanted to do. Michael went on to learn Industrial design at Leeds and he explored materials and processes but dropped out after a year. In 1981 -2006 Michael had a successful well established ceramic business with his wife Victoria making functional slipware even writing and publishing a successful book called Slipware: Contemporary approaches. Michael was always exploring ideas with visual perception, abstract qualities, function and engagement with objects.

Michael went on to learn HTML coding so that he could develop a website for the business as he was a self-confessed tech geek and had always been good at maths and Geometry, he didn’t want to leave it to just pay someone else to do a website and this was when something changed for him and it opened up a part of his brain that made him think in a  different way. Michael became interested in how technology could be used in other ways such as in ceramics.

After a 30 year gap Michael applied to The Royal College of Art where he would research, explore and expand his ideas, and begin to develop and create the impossible, bridging the gap and bringing Technology, code and ceramics together and fulfilling the idea of a transition of new visual perception in his final project and prize-winning RSA piece with a nod to one of Michael’s inspirational idols the first fathers of the industrial revolution, illustrator and innovator Josiah Wedgwood.

“Michael is now  One of the leading proponents in the field his research entitled “The Hand and the Glove: actual and virtual explorations of the ceramic container” at the Royal College of Art explores the use of additive manufacturing in the context of traditional ceramics making.” https://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/420-michael-edens-3d-printed-artworks.html

Using a combination of Michael’s 2D drawings, a narrative, Rhino 3D CAD software, Rapid prototyping (Zed core 3D Powder printer) and an innovative ceramic material that didn’t need firing,  Michael reproduced an iconic ceramic object from the first industrial revolution in a way that was impossible in the early 1800s. Michael created ‘ Wedgewoodn’t’ a digital technology mastered Vessel that would be extremely difficult to make by hand.

“The delicately pierced surface is inspired by bone, refering to natural objects used by wedgewood and his contemporaries as the inspiration for many of the designs”.  https://www.sculpteo.com/blog/2012/03/09/an-interview-with-michael-eden-master-of-ceramics-and-3d-printing/


Michael showed us some pictures of work he has done since his original breakthrough piece. The original ‘wedgewoodn’t tureen’  has been replicated and displayed in an array of Traditional and non traditional bright colours such as Lemon, Pink and Orange twist. Michael has also reproduced them to look like copper and bronze.


fe50d-wedgwoodn27t-bronze“This is a new version of my first digital piece, which I created as my final piece at the Royal College of Art back in 2008.

It is a small step forward, as the making of this piece combines the 3000+ year old process of lost wax casting and ‘post-industrial’ manufacturing.

Over the past couple of years, I have been keen to explore hybrid making techniques as I think there is enormous creative potential in bringing together ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ ways of making.

This way of approaching the creation of an artwork also helps to challenge the notion that these making techniques are mutually incompatible.

So I hope that this small Wedgwoodn’t Tureen helps to bridge the gap””


Michael talked about other works and anecdotes’ surrounding some of the vessels he has made since. We saw pictures of the Voxel and the story about engaging with a traditional vase seen through 3d virtual tour and zooming in on the object that inspired him at the Palace of Fontainebleau near Paris.


The Internet is a place where we spend increasing amounts of time. We go there to talk to our friends, to play, to learn and to explore. It’s a place where space and time become blurred and the actual, physical world mixes with the virtual.

Google allows us to explore the world as time-travellers to the recent past, floating through streets on the other side of the world. The Google Art Project allows us to walk through galleries and museums, and zoom in on the brush strokes of our favourite paintings. Why queue for the Uffizi when we can stroll through the empty galleries from the comfort of our armchairs?

It is an extraordinary technical achievement, a very useful tool, but it’s not the real thing, you can’t smell the oil paint and you can’t quite walk all the way round the sculptures. It is a 2 dimensional interpretation of the real world.

There is a vast amount of information available at the click of a mouse and with the development of software programmes and Apps some of that information can be visualised in different ways, including translating it from 2D to 3D.

Arte Dolum was created to explore these issues


Arte Dolum 2013

Arte Dolum, 2013

Arte Dolum, 2013

Tall Bloom and Bloom vessels

Image result for michael eden bronzeBloom 2014

always asking himself can I take this further and never satisfied Michael created

Mnemosyne 2011

Image result for michael eden bronze

To begin with, I generated a QR code and then extruded the resulting 2-dimensional image into a 3-dimensional form using CAD software. This was then given the shape of a traditional jewellery box.

So the idea is that the owner can scan the Mnemosyne with a Smart phone barcode reader App, which then connects to a website page where stories can be told, memories stored, photos deposited, sounds locked away, thereby creating a simultaneous actual and virtual experience.   http://www.michael-eden.com/2011-2013/cxsf1td8dshznam7djuzf6a6fviqzx./

Michael is without a doubt my most favourite lecture this semester. He has accomplished so much so quickly, he took a brilliant idea along with his Maths, Cad software, coding and 25 years of pottery skills and pushed himself to create the impossible and still pushing himself to create something better than the last always pushing the boundaries. His creations are so Aesthetically pleasing and I love the stories behind the designs and I am in awe of the way his brain works.

Michaels vessels are time consuming, each vessels design takes at least 150 hours to create in the software,  and I can imagine it would be quite expensive to make to.

My favourite pieces were the Digital pixelated faces on the ‘ Aphrodite’ and the ‘Watt vase’.

Aphrodite, 2016The Watt Vase

and the detail in the ‘Soho’.

Soho - detailSoho

I really loved the narratives behind the design details in these vessels the most, especially the foxgloves being used as a design for digoxin which I have had to use for my heart condition in the past.


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