By David Mannherz
There is an artistic revolution happening now and it’s in the Power Arts building.
Graduate Assistants, Seth Bechtold and David D’Ostilio operate a piece of machinery, dubbed “Blossom,” that arrived on campus in August as an anonymous donation. The German-made machine is the only of its kind within the state; it uses a robotic arm that combines software and hardware to mill solids like stone or foam, and is operated by people that are as technically gifted as they are artistically.
Students draft an idea on a 3D design program and witness it come to life. According to Bechtold, this process would take months with hand tools, or depending on the project, weeks. Instead, Blossom allows for the completion of projects in mere hours. So far, students have focused on the creation of busts or sculptures and self-portraits.
Along with the new robotic milling machine, Power Arts has 3D printers that use biodegradable plastic, as well as a ceramic 3D printer. This allows for a whole new level of creative options to an artistic practice that humans have been performing for millennia.
Since August, there have been nine completed works from Blossoms’ arm. In that time the faculty and staff have only begun to scratch the surface of this new artistic medium. The staff and students in Power Arts are Pioneers in the fullest sense of the word.