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The creation of unique and exciting objects has always been a challenge for the artist/craftsperson. With the passing of decades; varieties of form, process, and materials have been employed to create interesting and beautiful objects. As time passes, these objects become an archeological record of the society they were created by, and for. No one would dispute the information gained from inspection of a Bronze Age axe, for it speaks volumes of the culture, society, and technology at the time of its creation. As an artist living in today’s society, I try to create objects that can be interpreted in a similar way, with paralleled appropriateness.

I was left with the question as to how to best go about achieving that goal. Coupled with my creative motivation was my desire to affect change, to be different, to explore new ground. As a craft student, my previous experiences with handworking processes left me questioning my ideas. What could I do to move forward? I began to closely analyze the world I lived in, and I realized that this in an extraordinary time and place in history. In my lifetime I have seen the computer leave its mark on every aspect of the world I live in. Special effects, Animation, Graphics, Music, Fashion: all of it computer designed, engineered and executed. After careful consideration, it became obvious that the best and most relevant way to make a comment on my culture, society, and lifestyle was also to embrace and utilize current technology via the computer. In 1995, with the aid and instruction of Stanley Lechtzin, I left behind handprocesses and began my graduate research in CAD-CAM..

After I made the transition, I was left with the task of proper utilization of these new "tools". What did it mean to create in this new environment? What made it different? The computer environment was a unique means of creation compared to the bench. Objects could be accurately built with mathematical precision. Forms that would require complex fitting and joining techniques could be easily achieved. And when coupled with computer controlled manufacturing processes, the hand of the artists no longer needed to be involved in the realization of the object. This freed my mind to pursue more pertinent aspects of creation. I need not worry about the mundane processes of filing, finishing and polishing, instead I could pursue the myriad of ideas that passed through my mind. Perhaps the most crucial theory I was introduced to was the concept of the "virtual" object. I no longer needed to produce a tangible object to feel validated. Importance could be placed on the idea, theory, and concept. I could explore pure form, to any or all extents, until I was satisfied. Those objects that I chose to pursue to full tangibility, I could have realized through automated processes. Those that I didn’t want to pursue to tangibility (for one reason or another) remain as valid in their content, as their physical counterparts.

The main body of my thesis work is virtual,, the objects lack physicality. Although I was exposed to CNC milling early in my endeavors, I found the thinking process involved with 3 axis machining too limiting. At the time, machining involved the transitory step of programming tool paths. I found this to be incompatible with the philosophy I was in the midst of developing. Instead of focusing in on the machinable, I pursued the virtual, with the hopes that I would one day be able to produce the ideas that began to flow so freely and unrestrained. Only recently this has become a very real possibility for me.

In 1997 I changed from wireframe building to Solids modeling, after being introduced to it by Stanley Lechtzin. With the introduction of solids modeling it became possible to output my objects via Rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping allowed for the realization of more complex shapes, though the cost and technology currently limits their size. I also find the material options available through R.P. inspirational and appropriate to my needs. I do not live in a society of gold and diamonds, I live in a world of plastics and silicon. The jewelry I create is not dependent on the status of the materials that compose it. My personal inspiration stems from the mathematics and science of beauty, taking clues and theories from biological evolution. I am particularly intrigued by the application of evolutionary parameters in the process of object creation, although the work may not necessarily invoke biology or the organic. My main concern is appropriateness and beauty of form, whether in the adornment of the human body, table, or home.

My passion for my new means of creation and my interest in its development as a "new" craft has led me to pursue a career in teaching. I was led to this, by the realization that the crafts are in desperate need of a new Renaissance. By becoming proficient in this new environment, and developing a teaching philosophy based around it, I hope to be become an asset to the crafts community. It is my belief that by doing so, I will help a tradition that has been with us for thousands of years, continue into the 21st century.

 


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email me at mzindell@astro.ocis.temple.edu