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Artist 3D prints Maori designs

October 27, 2017

Maori culture has been allied with 21st century technology to create a new range of art and jewellery.

A New Zealand artist is creating ‘digital treasures’ by combing traditional Maori designs with modern 3D printing technology, reports Sam Davies for TCT Magazine.

Joe Te Wharau has used 3D printing to create a range of artistic pendants using materials such as gold, silver, brass and a variety of advanced plastics. The technology allows him the pinpoint accuracy to create designs inspired by traditional Maori art: Initially 3D printed, the designs are then finished in a rich coloured dye before being detailed with ink ta moko, which is used for the facial markings on traditional Maori.

The nylon artworks are also embedded with programmable microchips, allowing them to store information and interact with NFC-enabled mobile devices.

“I have always wanted to make beautiful things that meant something to me personally,” said Te Wharau. “Objects to be treasured, to inspire people to view things in new ways. Now I have found a way to do it.”

“These pieces are a translation of Maori tradition through modern technology, and I think it’s a natural progression”, he continued. “The subjects I work with have been chosen for their meaning. The tiki resembles creation and the fertility that comes from new ideas. I chose the toki as a symbol for tools – for exploring new ideas and techniques to make and do things.”

Te Wharau’s work is currently on display at the Art of Technology exhibition in Tauranga until November the 5th.

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