Once upon a time, products were relatively hard to get, and simply the ownership of certain items was considered a sign of wealth. For instance, porcelain dinnerware was a popular fine item in Europe starting in as early as the 1400s, but was an artifact of great wealth due to its rarity. As such, these objects became heirlooms, and the heritage of objects became a sign of class as well.
Today, companies like Shapeways, Figulo, and Ponoko can create almost any object in ceramics. While it’s not porcelain, the 3D printing industry is moving quite quickly in reducing the cost and rarity of ceramic goods. And so this topic crosses into the domain of many other consumer industries, posing a key question: can tableware contain great inherent value, even if that value is not embedded in scarcity or means of production?
Leveraging the aesthetic of extrusion-based clay 3D printers and modeling with the intent of creating single-wall ceramic forms, I designed a series of customization tableware that used unique looping patterns in the walls as personal family symbols. This provides space in the cup’s walls to protect hands from hot beverages, and has the opportunity to generate unintended contours on the side of the cup.