A Tipping Point: Technology in Ceramics

The 3-D printer might just be the iPhone of ceramics: a one-two punch of tech and affordability that renders craft an optional, antiquated pursuit. You want a vase? Forget the wheel. A high school kid with a CNC router can prototype, alter and perfect one on a computer, without ever getting her hands dirty. But fear not, clay throwers. As in photography, digital production in ceramics has pried open a vast new conceptual space to play in — especially for a medium that has always flirted with functional design. This weekend at Northern Clay Center, curators Heather Nameth Bren and Michael Arnaud present a smart, ultracontemporary show of software-enabled “makers.” Standouts include esteemed London potter Michael Eden, as well as young New York artist Adam Chau, whose clay pieces double as witty contemporary sculpture. (Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Fri., Northern Clay Center, 2424 E. Franklin Av., Mpls. northernclaycenter.org.)