Alterfact's candy coloured ensemble of teapots, milk jugs and drinking vessels reflects the intersection of new technologies with traditional ceramic techniques. Produced through digital printing processes, plastic clay the consistency of toothpaste is finely layered to produce three dimensional forms. Various components are then adjoined and finished, with some finer details such as handles or lids being hand built using raku clay before firing.
Exploring the boundaries between function and aesthetics, art and craft, the quirky idiosyncratic forms in Teapot Menagerie vary in their use value. Despite their industrial construction, the objects refuse to be categorised. Resisting their traditional templates they are neither functional design nor purely aesthetic object.
They ask how functional an object built for function needs to be, or if it can occupy this liminal space between design and art.
Alterfact is an experimental design studio created by Lucile Sciallano and Ben Landau in 2014. Since graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2013, the artists have collaborated on various projects in different mediums, culminating in the creation of Alterfact Studio. The studio conducts critical research with materials and data translated through the manufacture of utilitarian and aesthetic objects. Alterfact’s practice is currently focused on the use of 3D printing in clay as a small batch manufacturing process that pushes the boundaries of this traditionally plastic-based medium. Teapot Menagerie was exhibited as part of Melbourne Design Week, 2017. Works from this series are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and in private collections.
SAM's Showcase presents exhibitions of new work by contemporary ceramicists in the glass display cabinet of the art museum's entry. Showcase is a unique opportunity for collectors and craft lovers to acquire work from established and emerging contemporary artists, as all pieces are available for purchase at the SAM shop.
Image: Alterfact, Teapot Menagerie, 2017, 3D printed from Southern Ice Porcelain with coloured stains. Image courtesy Alterfact. Photo: Ben Landau.