Artists are renowned for their creativity and innovation. Throughout history, they
have adapted to changes in technology and have created amazing artistic creations.
The Midland College (MC) Art program is embracing 21st-century digital technologies
with the purchase of several new pieces of equipment designed to streamline and enhance
MC students' educational experience.
This new equipment includes two new high fire kilns, a 3D potter, a micro 3D printer
and a Cricut cutting machine, which will allow students an entirely new way to visualize
the creative process and allow for a higher level of detail. Also, the art program
has added a new GlowForge laser cutter/etcher. The GlowForge can cut and etch a wide
range of materials and has many real applications for design and fabrication.
The Hanley Charitable Trust provided funds to purchase this equipment, which is part
of a new MC Art technology initiative. The Hanley Charitable Trust will also provide
funding for a new filament-based 3D printer and a 3D scanner.
The goal is to allow experimentation with technology, material and artistic potential.
Michael Richardson, MC associate professor of Art, sees the addition of this new equipment
as a means to help students develop new skills and discover additional ways to create
3D Art. It will be a merging of the handmade art object with the virtually designed
and printed art object.
"The addition of this new technology puts us at the cutting edge of what's going on
right now with virtual design and 3D printing," Richardson said. "For ceramics, we
can use that specific medium to design, create, and fire new student creations. It
is an exciting time."
This fall, Midland College will expand its academic programs by offering a hybrid
course format in Art which will combine on-campus (hands-on) and online coursework.
The new equipment will enable students to create/design using the software at home
or in the computer lab and then to render their projects on site.
"This equipment will allow students to print things that would be impossible or very
difficult to throw on the potter's wheel or even to hand build," MC student and part-time
employee Jayce Barrett said. "People can design something on their computer, print
it and then incorporate it into their work."