photo: teapot design for Yixingdraw

I wanted to make pictures of my thoughts...

... and ended up doing CAD/CAM

Back in 1994 one needed a huge UNIX machine that would be able to render the 3D objects that you made.

Mostly you had to design in wireframe-mode.

I was kindly helped by Silicon Graphics that sold me a machine for a price comparable to the most expensive Apple computer at that time. That was considerably less than usual. Still, considerably more than I should have afforded... Did not buy the car that was planned, but a computer...

I was the first Dutch artist that got that deal and I took it with both hands.

Needless to say, in those days nothing worked quite as smooth as at the present.

It would take a whole night to render just one image. A big thing that stood in my living room humming and heating the room significantly!

It made my head explode with all the possibilities, and also with all the technical stuff you had to learn. Often I had the feeling I had a Ferrari without wheels... And I could only find the first gear.

Anyway, I mastered the big SGI machine enough to allow me to do designs, and of course got better at it, and 'soon' was indeed making pictures of my thoughts. The shading-tools were impressive, designing and animating ludicrously limited...

Then I got in contact with the CAD/CAM standard in the ceramic world: DeskArtes 
DeskArtes was developed for the Finnish factory 'Arabia' and allows both unlimited imagination as well as down-to-earth design and machining. It still is a very impressive software. In the early years I was a sort of 'trouble-maker' for them: an artist who always wanted what was not possible. That was fun! To have direct contact with the engineers who would come up with a patch or upgrade that would allow me to do the things i wanted, was phenomenal.

The ease of design with the Deskartes-tool was and is fun to work with.


In 1996 I was invited to come to China for a teapot-symposium. I designed some virtual (some impossible) teapots on my computer and had slides made off the screen. The slides were send to Taiwan and printed in Purple Sands Magazine. If you want to read that story, click here

During that symposium the factory-owner asked me to do more designs for them and of course I did. In Holland, on my computer during sleepless nights and sending the renderings and drawings by fax.

Around 2000 normal computers were getting faster and better. Now, it takes seconds or minutes to render an image. It is easy to make an animation and the softwares available are improving all the time.


see examples of Jeroen's

click here to go to the DA site