This project comprises the documented making of an installation to include ceramics, joined wood, woven/dyed textiles, knotted and stained rope, and photo-micrographs. There will be a central large art piece that incorporates wood-fired ceramic and woven/shibori-dyed textile elements, tied together by stained rope webbing anchored within a custom-joined wooden frame. A collection of microscope images will accompany the piece to form an art-science installation—the optical and scanning-electron micrographs will show details of the ceramic and textile materials that relate to the work’s theme, Intermateriality:Redox. This title refers at one level to the artistic impulse to make work that explores commonalities and complementarities (such as plasticity and rigidity versus tensility and drape) between ancient craft materials, and at another to the observation that both wood-fired ceramic color and indigo dyeing processes rely essentially on chemical reduction and oxidation (redox) phenomena to control where critical molecular compounds are affixed and how they interact with ambient light. The micrographs will focus on nanoscale crystal formations on the wood-fired ceramic surfaces responsible for vibrant color, and on indigo crystals and Maya Blue nanostructures embedded in the textile fibers.
The scientist/maker, Hideo Mabuchi, is Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University. The project is supported by the Burt McMurtry Arts Initiative Fund administered by Stanford Arts. It is hoped that the final installation will be on display, somewhere on the Stanford campus, during autumn quarter 2020.
The purpose of this blog is to make visible the internal workings of such a project, mainly for students and other members of the Stanford community who might be interested to follow along.