Every so often a comet or asteroid falls from the sky at an oblique angle and with incredible velocity. On impact, the ground is compressed or even vaporized leaving an impact crater. Earth rock can be melted and ejected into the upper atmosphere at hyper-velocities. This begins a naturally occurring process by which silicate rich clay is heated, driving off any chemically bound water and, vitrifying into a glassy textured form. This description echo’s the process by which clay is put through a heat cycle in a kiln to produce ceramic.
Tektites are the first collection of ceramic works by Studio Furthermore. A close relative of glass, ceramics are woven into the fabric of our anthropology and will play an on-going roll in our material future. Delighted by the promise of such versatility Studio Furthermore decided to investigate the use of ceramic foam structures. Ceramic foams have been used in applications such as mirror mountings on space telescopes as well as the heat shielding that aided NASA's space shuttles to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere unsinged. The designers set about trying to develop a craft scaled ceramic foam material by means of a polymer replica process.
Studio Furthermore produced samples of different clays such as stoneware, porcelain and recipes containing reactive alumina, sodium feldspar and ball clay before settling on parian. The designers tried saturating various kinds of open celled foams to see how each behaved. It was found that the relatively high viscosity of parian slip was advantages during foam saturation and once fired over 1200°C and cooled, something quite magical remained. The designers found fragments that resembled meteorites. To the touch these fragments felt warm, hard and stone like but bizarrely they felt near weightless also.