• 01.16.12

A Tea Set Turns The Flaws Of 3-D Tech Into Poetry

Using new-fangled methods, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez digitally fabricates a familiar object–and renders it into a work of art.

New technology, by its very definition, has bugs–a frustration for the general user, but a major opportunity for the artist. “These flaws give artists opportunities to explore new mediums in ways that were unintended yet poetic,” Matthew Plummer-Fernandez tells Co.Design. His most recent work, Glitch Reality II, is a gorgeously crude rendering of a tea set, the combination of 3-D scanning, 3-D printing, and a dose of human manipulation.


The London-based designer began by scanning a set of mismatched china with a Z-corporation 3-D scanner and then roughly repairing the digital mesh files before they were 3-D printed. The resulting tea set, he says, inherits “the glitches from the analogue-to-digital-to-analogue translation” for a look that is both uncannily familiar and strangely new. “It’s like a ghost that comes back from the past,” Plummer-Fernandez says.

The pieces are available through the Shapeways shop.

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.