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Prairie Cord: 3D Printed Ceramic Modular Blocks Weave an Arch Designed by Brian Peters

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Prairie Cord

A latticed structure revels in a mirror-like pool, with admonishing beauty! A simple hemispherical curve weaves the Prairie Cord designed by Brian Peters. The designers showcased the project commissioned by Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. The artist interestingly envisaged a site-specific element that plays with light, shadow, and reflection during the day and night.

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Prairie Cord

Fashioning an arc, glamourous and intricate, inhibited upon an existing shallow pool and reflecting its other half, forms a full cylinder. The structural fragments compose 3D printed ceramic blocks inset into a wooded frame. The infill pattern intricately exudes inspiration from the native prairie cord grasses, jostling the idea of filtering light to stream in and out of the installation, like dancing speckles.

Prairie Cord

Brian Peters sculpted the design as an exploration of 3D printed parts-to-whole public art. His conceptual imagination takes advantage of the site’s bucolic context and tranquil waters. The luminosity that parades at night draws in a warm ambiance, elating the artistic drama he professed.  

Prairie Cord floats lightly atop the garden’s pool, stabilized upon a foundation of concrete blocks and it rests fairly hovering on the water’s surface. An ensemble of 80 individual blocks comprises the installation, with an array of sixteen unique block designs, each tapering based on its location on the arch.

Brian Peters designed and fabricated the ceramic blocks in his Pittsburgh studio using a customized process. Later, each block was hand refined, glazed, and fired in a kiln to achieve the material’s robustness and life.

Prairie Cord

As a gentle air breezes past, the Prairie Cord imparts an ethereal enigma that captures every visitor’s gaze, as it soothingly glistens in the shallow pool.

Project Details:
Client: Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Project Title: Prairie Cord
Artist/Designer: Brian Peters
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Materials: 3d Printed Stoneware Blocks, Frame, Led Lights
Photography: Brian Peters
Design Details:
Overall Dimensions: 10’-0” L X 4’-0” H X 6’-0” D
Individual Block Dimensions: 12” L X 8” H X 4” D

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