JOAN AND JACK HARDIE
We aim to make ceramics that are inspired by natural forms and have a sense of life
and movement. 3D printing with clay makes it possible to create ceramic forms that
are not achievable by other means. We are combining art, craft and technology to
explore fascinating new possibilities.
We started making ceramics about 45 years ago, firstly at evening classes, then in a
shed in the back garden. Jack was a thrower and Joan did hand building. Ceramics
took a back seat to other work until 2001 when Joan decided to become a full time
potter, progressing through further education workshops to a professional
development diploma for designer-makers. In 2005 she opened an open-studio
pottery in Cumbria, making and selling hand-made ceramics and running pottery
classes. Meanwhile, Jack had also made a major change of direction by gaining a
first class honours degree in Art and Design at London University of the Arts.
When we began to learn about 3D printing in 2014, we imagined the creative
possibilities that this might present in clay. There were no commercial 3D printers
available to do what we envisaged, so we built a 3D clay printer ourselves. It
extrudes very thin coils of soft clay, which are pressed down in layers to build our
Each new idea must be captured and developed as a detailed digital design that is
practical to print in soft clay. The printing process uses all our accumulated pottery
know-how. Achieving the right consistency of clay is an art in itself. We prepare the
clay largely by hand to get a very soft, even consistency with no air.
The new forms and textures we're working with also demand fresh approaches to
colouring, glazing and firing to make the forms come alive. We are currently
working in both porcelain and stoneware, using body stains and glazes, and firing in
a gas kiln under both oxidation and reduction.
We sell our “printed pots” through a small number of galleries and ceramics fairs.
We occasionally give live demonstrations and talks.