A ceramic dripping machine to create structures, graphics and textures

With the project Moca, Studio Joachim-Morineau developed a dripping machine that drips liquid clay at a certain rhythm to create various structures, graphics and textures.

The project combines technology with craft with a human or natural touch. The machine drips clay through a nozzle with a specific and adjustable diameter. The drops fall onto a plaster mould. The mould is placed in a platform that rotates and moves on a X axis. The rotation speed and movements can be adjusted through a computer code, which decides the ceramic outcome.

Moca explores various textures, structures and parents created by the machine. To make different textures, the clay drops are covered by liquid clay. When the liquid material is poured out, a layer remains, with the drips giving it texture. The water is absorbed by the plaster mould, leaving a clay piece that is ready to be fired.

The designers also researched patterns, by looking how angles and shapes of the moulds influence the drops. The graphic outcomes are mathematical. To turn the patterns into ceramic pieces, the designers use the same slip casting method as with the textures.

Finally, the design studio made open ceramic structures, by dripping clay at a constant speed. The drops always land in the same spot and start to accumulate in the mould. Gravity pulls them towards the centre of the mould, creating a self-supporting structure.

According to the designers, the “machine is the link between crafts and industries”. It can produce the same object at almost an industrial level, yet at the same time, each piece is unique.

Photos: Pierre Castignola