Parametric Ceramics

Combining slipcasting with parametric modeling

Design /‬‭ ‬Jimmy Jian‭, ‬Jack Liu
Ceramics /‬‭ ‬Hazel Pan‭, ‬Jimmy Jian
Year /

Parametric Ceramics is a series of ceramic objects that explore the potential of design combining parametric modeling and slip casting as creative tools. By combining these two techniques, designers are able to create pottery that is aesthetic, hard to be crafted by hand, mass yet manufacturable.

Form Exploration: Parametric Modeling
Parametric Design is originally used in architecture to describe design method using an algorithm based model system. By constantly changing parameters, designers are able to get different forms in realtime, analyzing best results based on design intents, and even being a form-finding process. In this project, designers aim to explore forms that fit in original slip-casting process, hard to be crafted by hand, but with rich parametric aesthetic. Form exploration stage shows the possibility designers discovered by applying distinctive math pattern in nature, adding gradual changing parameters, altering smooth or low-poly facade, etc.

Ceramic Prototyping
A series of objects that are easy to produce were designed for manufacturing test. All the ceramic objects in this stage need only one plaster mold, which means that objects can be released from a single side. After this stage, some parameters were adjusted to increase yield rate.  

Final Design & Rendering
Eight distinct patterns were selected to put on objects as final design. The selected patterns were all carefully adjusted to meet the limitations of mass production. Before breaking the mold, a several mockups were made using 3D printer. Renderings were also made using Keyshot to confirm the final looks.

Slip Casting
Slip-casting is a technique for the mass production of pottery and ceramics. The technique is suited to the production of complex shapes, especially if with relief decoration and thin walls. By combining this technique with digital parametric design which generate forms depending on the behavior of a computer algorithm in response to a set of data, we can create pottery that is aesthetic, hard to be crafted by hand, yet manufacturable.  

plaster molds
test pieces
glaze powder

Design Story
The top and bottom of the ceramic objects were properly designed, allowing users to stack them freely with different patterns. In addition to being easy to store, this feature allows users to create unique tabletop scenery of their own. Inspired by nature and manifested by parametric design, the fragmented patterns on ceramic objects create a sophisticated and zen aesthetic. Neutral and calm colors were used in ceramic objects, allowing them to be integrated into any contemporary home decoration. This allows this series of objects to add a touch of color to user’s home without causing visual disturbance.