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Gilbert Riedelbauch

Double bowl

Gilbert Riedelbauch Double bowl 2000

Double bowl 2000 nylon, rapid prototyping from a mathematical equation National Gallery of Australia enlarge

Artist's statement
' Since 1992 I have combined digital technologies with traditional silver smithing techniques, taking advantage of computers at the concept, making and production stage. Designing takes place in the virtual workshop of the computer, while the actual production is handed over to a machine based process, in this case Rapid Prototyping. I am drawn to the high level of symmetry and precision inherent in those combinations of techniques and processes.

By using the computer to visualise mathematical equations I am able to "see" these calculated surfaces. A gradual change to the equation will result in a slightly different shape and over time closed visual feedback-loop allows me to "control" this shape by deliberately changing the numbers and elements of the equation.'

How was Double bowl made?
' A mathematical formula describes the surface and determines the form of this object. Using mathematics software the coordinates of this surface are calculated as a wire frame in virtual 3D space. Then I shift this surface from its 2D state to become a 3D object showing a material thickness with the help of Computer Aided Design. The 'real' object is then produced using Rapid Prototyping technologies. In this case nylon powder including fine glass beads, was sintered together by a laser-based process is called Selective Laser Sintering or SLS in short. Without digital technologies controlling the production inside very small tolerances this work would never be possible.'

  • From what material did you think Double bowl was formed from?
  • Can you think of any shapes or patterns that can be generated by using mathematics?
  • Using a sheet of paper and a pair of scissors, see how many 3-dimensional shapes you can make. Make the tallest and longest forms possible.