I'm a sculptor exploring the space between art, math, and life. My work is about living in three dimensions, finding symmetry and balance, feeling for the tension between pure geometry and natural forms.
I like to think about shapes and sometimes I think of a new one. It's something I do without wanting very much to explain it.
I've studied more math than most artists. I no longer use it very directly – my current designs are drawn rather than computed – but it's plain that my creative engine is very interested in symmetry and topology.
3D printed steel is my main medium, and I also work with subsurface laser damage in glass. This isn't because I love gadgets, but because the shapes I want aren't moldable, and I want to make a lot of them. These turns out to be heavy constraints: most artmaking and manufacturing methods don't work, or become very expensive, for reproducing un-moldable objects. Thus I became an early adopter of 3D printing.
My business model is simple: I sell metal and glass. I don't limit editions and I price as low as costs permit. I sell mostly through this site and Shapeways, without a gallery.
Profits have varied. I've worked day jobs as a programmer, teacher, tech writer, typist, web designer, and presently protein zapper. Around the turn of the millennium a window opened as 3D printing got cheaper and better. It suited my style perfectly, especially as metal printing got underway, and my designs were among the first printed-steel things to sell much outside the industry. That was exciting! And it's been very satisfying to evangelize and watch the medium take off. The tech has improved, new business models have sprung up, and now many thousands of designers use steel printing.
At this writing – mid-2015 – I'm taking some time off. I feel that my story arc in making geometrical sculpture for the last thirty years, as well as helping popularize 3D printing, has reached a natural close. I'm not sure what comes next...I'll let you know when I figure something out.
Meanwhile, we're minding the store. This site is live, the designs are in production, you can order them.I hope you'll enjoy the sculptures. They're visions of order in the universe, my peaceful places. I've felt calm and hopeful in making them, and I hope they will bring some of that satisfaction into your life.
In the News
What's the impact of all this? You're seeing here some of the foundational designs of 3D printed art. My work has appeared in the New York Times, the London Times and Der Spiegel, as well as Wired, Discover and Make magazines. One of my lamps was among TIME Magazine's Design 100 in 2007. My sculptures have appeared in hit TV shows, Second Life, and a Japanese commercial. John Conway and Douglas Hofstadter have used them as illustrations. They've been shown worldwide, and I have a mostly unironic Wikipedia entry.
This phase of newsworthiness ended as 3DP matured, and now I just see an occasional illustration in a textbook, or paragraph in a historical survey.
I never drilled far into the traditional art world, which is all right: long ago I made the decision to work for viewers and buyers – you – rather than middlemen. That's what the internet is for. The logical outcome of this decision was that only few enthusiasts would ever take an interest in my work, and it's been such a surprise that it didn't turn out that way.
Thank you for letting me have this job.
Metal – How I make sculpture.
Crystal – About subsurface laser damage imaging in glass.
Studio – A quick tour of my workspaces.
Pages I no longer maintain
Shows – I now announce appearances and shows on social media.
Press – This got out of hand.
Resources – Lists of this kind are deprecated now that we have Google.
And to Travis Alex Photo for the portrait above. He saw what I see in the mirror.