This post celebrates (in) – Somnium: new work by Katja Prins, a jewellery artist in Amsterdam. Katja was introduced to Anarkik3DDesign, a 3D modelling programme, by her fellow jewellery maker, Birgit Laken and was immediately fascinated by this intuitive way of designing!
The image shows 4 brooches, with 3D printed forms combined with silver and other elements. “(in) – Somnium” is exhibited at Galerie Rob Koudijs in Amsterdam until 17th December 2022.
In her practice, Katja Prins reflects on her fascination for the relationship between technology and the human body. She is interested in the ambivalence, contradictions, the thin line between good and bad, improvement and danger, the uncanny valley of the familiar and the unknown. The simultaneously “healing-protective and toxic-destructive” properties of technology both worry and excite her.
It provides her with imagery and ideas for a fluid boundless world where humans and technology are hybrid, where the human body and the network merge and entangle one another in a structure of systems; unclear where one ends and the other begins.
This hybridity between man and machine is also being reflected in her way of working and designing and Galerie Rob Koudijs in Amsterdam is showing (in) – Somnium: new work by Katja Prins, on until 17th December.
Katja started using 3D printing, designing her forms with Anarkik3DDesign, a haptic 3D modelling programme which works with a special haptic device. Haptics gives her a real sense of touch and movement in the virtual environment. By using this device she is able to feel the 3 dimensionality and texture of her forms, (de)form them intuitively by pushing and pulling them, even go inside her forms and work in the same intuitive way as if she is working with clay and her bare hands.
Image: Katja’s new studio, her haptic device and new 3D prints on the table, and her furry studio companion.
Later on she combined her forms with silver elements, which added another layer of hybridity; traditional goldsmithing craft in combination with the latest 3D printing technologies. Image below are neckpieces from (in) – Somnium: new work by Katja Prins.
Katja’s introduction to Anarkik3DDesign
Katja first encountered Anarkik3DDesign with her colleague, jewellery artist and maker Birgit Laken, and once lockdown eased in early 2021 visited Birgit’s studio where she was introduced to the programme. Katja was immediately fascinated by this intuitive way of designing. She already had 3D printing in her mind for quite some time as a possible new path of working but has always been held back because of the difficulty and complexity of programmes like CAD for designing. But with Anarkik3DDesign she saw how easy and directly one could work and how she could make all those organic forms she’s always looking for!
She bought Anarkik3DDesign (software/haptic device) and a small 3D printer (Ultimaker2) and started playing around, like she always does when she gets a new material in her hands, checking all the properties and possibilities. It was lovely Ann Marie Shillito (CEO of Anarkik3D) who helped her out when she encountered a problem.
Katja then visited a 3D printing company, who inform her about all possible materials and ways of printing and after that she decided to have her first batch of models 3D printed! It was wonderful when they arrived at her studio: half-products / raw material to her, ready to get combined with her silver language.
Again it was playtime and by playing with the forms, cutting them open, slicing them up, combining them with other materials, new possibilities and ideas popped up and so a new batch was 3D printed and so on. And out of this ‘playing around’ her new collection emerged.
Still image (from video on Instagram) of Katja’s workbench, the start of playing with different combinations of forms and elements resulting in (in) – Somnium: new work by Katja Prins.
Katja reckons that she is only using 10% of what is possible with the Anarkik3DDesign: she feels very much that “less is more”, it easily becomes too much, so she kept it all really simple. And she sees so many possibilities for future work! She can’t wait to continue with it!