Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University
I’m pursuing a hybrid approach to digital fabrication, meshing traditional processes with output from 3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, and pen plotters. I have three significant concerns about 3D printing: access, scale, and materiality – access, referring to the associated costs, prohibitive until recently. Scale is still a very real limitation, as the print volume of a typical RepRap or Makerbot is frankly insufficient for most sculptural applications. Materiality is the most compelling and promising area of interest for me. I have been experimenting with printing media that includes wood, chalk, or clay, in an effort to engage touch, texture, and mass in ways that plastic struggles to address.
I enjoy introducing students to 3D printing. Students have opened my eyes to the possibilities of the technology through their sheer inventiveness and disregard for protocol. There is an equalizing, leveling, and collaborative aspect to 3D printing. The triviality of plastic and the ease of printing makes the process a little like sketching – a low stakes game full of experimentation and iteration. For years I’ve agonized about where this technology is heading. More recently I’ve learned to relax about this and enjoy watching a nascent form emerging.
Tom Lauerman works within the overlap of sculpture, craft, and design. His objects, drawings, and installations explore the emotional capacities of constructed spaces as a visual, tactile, and visceral experience. In the studio, Tom seeks to synthesize digital fabrication strategies and traditional craft techniques. Lauerman received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from SMU Meadows School of Art. His work has been exhibited widely including recent exhibitions in Berlin, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He has taken part in a number of Artist Residencies including the ClayArch Gimhae Museum in South Korea, the Kohler Arts/Industry residency, and Pilchuck Glass School. He is a recipient of the Horizon Award from the American Craft Museum (now Museum of Arts and Design) in New York, and an Individual Artist Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Tom has taught at a number of institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and SMU Meadows School of Art. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Penn State University.