Posted on Leave a comment

Impact AI on studio pottery

Digital Pottery Designs

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris

We are on the edge of yet more change to pottery production. I have been chatting to friends about the impact of AI that led me to think about the studio pottery movement and how it came about in revolt to the industrial revolution, and where its place in history is now.

How technology has impacted studio pottery

Studio pottery is the creation of ceramic art and functional pottery by individual artists or small groups working in independent studios or workshops. Unlike mass-produced factory ceramics, studio pottery is typically characterized by its emphasis on handmade, unique, and often one-of-a-kind pieces, the amazing pottery and ceramics seen on the internet.

There is no doubt that the industrial revolution has aided studio potters, it provided possibilities thanks to the technological developments particularly the electric kilns, not to mention the glaze technology. Ceramic equipment is now so accessible meaning pottery studios can be set up easily at home.

The downside was that before the industrial revolution, pottery was a ‘village craft’ and the village potters skills were at risk of being lost to mass production. Fortunately a few famous studio potters (Bernard Leach) kept the craft alive and going. Both mass production and studio pottery both have a place today.

Fast forward to today, and similar to the potters facing the industrial revolution, we are facing the impact of AI.

How AI could help

  • Assist with designs
  • In commercial studios robots equipped with AI can be programmed to handle tasks such as clay molding, glazing, and firing.
  • Education
  • To record and catalogue
  • To support with business administration

How it can’t help

  • It can’t substitute the relationship between maker and viewer
  • It can’t produce ceramic that has the makers individual handmade mark
  • It can’t replicate the passion the potter has for making their work.

While AI could bring benefits to the world of pottery, it’s essential to strike a balance between technology and traditional craftsmanship. Many potters value the handmade and artisan aspects of their work, and AI should be seen as a tool to enhance and complement their skills rather than replace them entirely.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.