The Schein-Joseph International Museum of International Art, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
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Conspicuous Applications of Advanced Ceramics a special exhibition at The International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred
William J. Walker, Jr., Ph.D.
Ceramic Engineer and Guest Curator
June 24 - September 25, 1997

 
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Ceramics have been around for tens of thousands of years, but in recent years, a new class of ceramic materials has been developed by scientists and engineers. These new ceramics are highly engineered to achieve high performance and are commonly referred to as "advanced ceramics." Chemically, they are oxides, carbides and nitrides. Most do not occur in nature.

This exhibit looks at how these new materials are beginning to be used by designers and artists. Advanced ceramics, and in fact many traditional ceramics, are usually found in behind-the-scenes applications such as electronic components, cutting tools, etc. These technical applications are certainly interesting, and can be beautiful, stimulating and inspirational. But now these materials are beginning to emerge into the realm of everyday life -- the domain of product designers; and a few artists are beginning to use them as the raw materials for their expression.

Public perception of ceramic materials has been influenced by two headline news phenomena: the ceramic space shuttle tiles and the high temperature ceramic superconductors. Because of these two developments and the publicity surrounding them, ceramics began to be perceived as modern, high tech, high performance materials. Some designers and manufacturers have already recognized this and this exhibition is intended to recognize them. It is also intended to send a hint to those who have not yet noticed what is happening.

 
Click an image below for details
shirts
watch
cosmetics
hip joint
skis
knives and scissors
lamps
armor
engine components
sports equipment
Water Boy
hammer
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