Cross-fire Teapot, Natural Occurrence series - Geoffrey Mann

Cross-fire Teapot, Geoffrey Mann, 2010. Image © Nick Moss

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Ceramics: Computer Aided Design (CAD), rapid prototyping, slip-casting
Bone china, glaze
H230mm x W220mm x L260mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Place Trained
Royal College of Art, London, MA in Ceramics and Glass, 2003-2005; Grays School of Art, Aberdeen, BA (Hons) in Three Dimensional Design, 2001 - 2003
Coburg House Art Studios, 15 Coburg House, Edinburgh EH6 6ET, Scotland
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Geoffrey Mann is fascinated with capturing the ephemeral nature of time and motion, using the opportunities offered by digital technology to transform the ethereal into physical objects. The Cross-fire Teapot is an outstanding example of his work. It was created by digitally mapping the sound waves of an audio excerpt of a heated argument from the film American Beauty (1999). The sound waves are animated, so that they appear to be felt literally by the silverware, dishes, and teapot on the table. Rapid prototyping technology was used to create a mould for the distorted teapot, from which the final ceramic piece was cast.

Three works from the Cross-fire series are being shown in the Crafts Council touring exhibition ‘Lab Craft: Digital Adventures in Contemporary Craft’.

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Max Fraser

“There are few makers utilising sound capturing technologies in the creation of physical objects. So, it was with intrigue and delight that I discovered Geoffrey Mann's Cross-fire series of tabletop objects, including this teapot. Mann replicated sound waves from an argument in the film American Beauty as if they were passing back and forth across the table and through the objects, distorting their very fabric. As the sound waves rippled through the teapot, Mann freeze-framed the distorting effect, the shape of which could never have been dreamt of without the use of digital software. The allure of Mann's work is his ability to use digital technologies to capture invisible moments in our lives and encapsulate them within solid objects.”

Max Fraser

Max Fraser, Design author, curator. Editor and publisher of LONDON DESIGN GUIDE. Crafts Council Acquisition Adviser, 2009-2010

Geoffrey Mann & Chris LaBrooy
Commissioned by Past, Present and Future Craft Practice, University of Dundee.
Sound excerpt: American Beauty. Soundtrack: "Don't Rain On My Parade" by Bobby Darin 
Cross-Fire / Natural Occurrence series

From the Archive

Gallery guide for 2010 Crafts Council touring exhibition 'Lab Craft', which explores the influence of digital tools on contemporary craft practice. © Crafts Council

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