Nico Conti Art - 3D Clay Printer Funding

by Nico Conti in London, England, United Kingdom

£1,776

raised of £7,500 target
25
supporters
24% 15 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by December 30th 2019 at 10:01am

A fundraiser to assist with the setup of Nico Conti's studio by contributing to the funding of a 3D clay printer.

by Nico Conti in London, England, United Kingdom

A Summary of my Project

After graduating from the Royal College of Art and being awarded the Cockpit Art Roslind Stracey Scholarship, I am the closest I have ever been to producing my own work as an independent artist. The scholarship offers free studio space for a year which commences January of 2020.

The production of my work relies heavily on the 3D clay printing machine. Being relatively new tools in the ceramic market, these machines fetch a high price tag. 

Without the 3D printer, I have been unable to practice my passion, produce my art and experiment on new concepts. Having just finished two years of a Masters course means that I have no funds left to invest in this much-needed piece of machinery and that is exactly why I turn to your generosity. You, as a prospective donor, will be funding the beginning of my career and giving me the support I need to find my footing as an independent artist.

Being amongst the first ceramic artists to use the machine I hope to bridge together the advancements of technology and the traditionality of clay in a way that preserves the preciousness of ceramic art and craft. With the acquisition of this machine, I will be able to further experiment with this new technology and continue to contribute and push the limitations of clay.

I aim not only to educate myself but also others through workshops and community projects. As a student, I found that some of the most rewarding memories I have are of when I was able to help others. The act of sharing knowledge and interchanging of skills fulfils me on a personal and academic level. The shift from being a student to working independently from a studio can be a solitary one. It is this very reason that I intend to host workshops and participate in community projects. This way I'll be executing my passion, meeting the next generation of 3D clay print artists and learning a thing or two along the way.

My Work

My work explores the relationship between conflicting themes; traditional and contemporary, stability and weakness, order and chaos. I express this conflict by subverting the process of clay 3D printing, transforming the uniformity of it and ultimately pushing the material to unexplored territories. The manipulation ranges from a minimal glitch in the programme to warping involuntarily when being fired in the kiln. As shifting forms become more unique at every level of manipulation, each piece takes on its own identity.

There is obvious tension between craft and technology. In my work, I marry clay with modern machinery. It is a celebration of the past by understanding tradition and old techniques while looking and heading towards the future. I try to balance out my love for material investigation and my desire to translate my findings into idealised pieces. This shift from one way of thinking and making to another has proven to be the most interesting aspect of my work. It feeds an artistic need that allows my work to continuously develop. But most importantly, I aim to produce objects that do justice to the materials that I use. I aim for beauty, delicacy and balance in form.

My Story

“But will you find a job?'' It was a question that I constantly got asked every time I mentioned that I study art. I began making crafts and experimenting with objects found at home since I was a child. While my family was always supportive, others often associated what I do with just being a hobby and refused to take me seriously. After much thought, I decided to leave the warmth of Malta and the comforts of familiarity and start a life in London to focus on my craft skills and develop a voice that is uniquely mine. 

This sudden shift from the tradition to the contemporary impacted my work the most. It introduced and then strengthened my ability to experiment and take risks. When exploring innovative ideas and techniques, failures become necessary in this learning process. 

After two years of studying, I was able to create a new way of making that showcased originality and determination with my 3D printed works. 

During my time at the Royal College of Art I had the honour to show my work and explain my techniques to His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. I explained how important it is to me to keep arts and crafts constantly evolving in a harmonious manner. For me, clay is not simply a material but also a tool that serves as visual vocabulary that expresses my ideas. With the ever so fast advancements in technology, art and craft are affected by modern tools and machinery. This is witnessed in my exploration of material when I started to experiment with 3d printing.

Over the Summer I was invited to show my work at an esteemed event at the RCA with established ceramicists, Edmund de Waal and Magdalene Odondo and supporters of the crafts, the Gorvy family.

After placing first in the FRANZ Rising Star Award I was also invited to exhibit my work in Porzellanikon Selb in Germany, International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Italy, British Ceramics Biennal and sales opportunity at Today Art Museum, China and Singaporean online art gallery - The Artling.

I am confident that I made the right decision to build a life in London with extensive resources and readily available inspiration. All of this while being surrounded by people who both support and understand what I do. In her own words about me, Felicity Aylieff, my past tutor wrote: 

He has a refreshing attitude, flexibility, humour and enthusiasm and there is something inspirational and refreshing in his outlook. 

This warms me as I aspire to be all of those things I would like to think that this is reflected in my work.

Reward Examples

The money received from this crowdfunding campaign will be used to purchase a 3D clay printer. Your support makes it possible for me to pursue my passion for making. Below is a list of reward examples from different tiers. Actual rewards may vary in shape, size and form. 

Commissions will be created to specifications discussed. If you have any questions or require more information email me on nico.conti@network.rca.ac.uk.

Unique Test Piece - £100 or more

Custom Small Commission Examples - £500 or more

Custom Medium Commission Examples - £1000 or more

Custom Large Commission Examples - £2500 or more

Photo & Video Credits

Ho Lai, Alick Cotterill, Nadja Ellinger, Yushi Li, Hao Ma & Darren Gerrish.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

Set of Postcards

This pledge is rewarded by a set of postcards with professionally shot images of my latest artworks.

£100 or more

Small Unique Test Piece

This pledge is rewarded by a small unique test piece that is to be made using the purchased 3D printer. Test pieces are all unique work as they are often very experimental and inform the process of bigger and finalised work. These will be randomly chosen for the donor.

£500 or more

Custom Small Commission (10x10x10cm)

This pledge is rewarded by a custom small commission that is to be made using the purchased 3D printer. The approximate size is 10 cubic centimetres. An optional discussion about the commission will be held to establish the specifications of the piece.

£1,000 or more

Custom Medium Commission (15x15x15cm) + Plaque

This pledge is rewarded by a custom small commission that is to be made using the purchased 3D printer. The approximate size is 15 cubic centimetres. An optional discussion about the commission will be held to establish the specifications of the piece. + Your name engraved on a brass plaque which will be attached on the 3D printer as a reminder for your generosity and contribution.

£2,500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Custom Large Commission (25x25x25cm) + Plaque

This pledge is rewarded by a custom small commission that is to be made using the purchased 3D printer. The approximate size is 25 cubic centimetres. An optional discussion about the commission will be held to establish the specifications of the piece. + Your name engraved on a brass plaque which will be attached on the 3D printer as a reminder for your generosity and contribution.


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