Crafting Enterprise meets Made in the Middle

Ju-Eun and Robyn Smith

"When you look at Robyn’s work it feels strange, like a horror movie, and it really makes you think." Ju-Eun

  • Robyn Smith 4.jpg Let me pick at your brain (foreground), 2016. Creating Neu(ral) (rear, left), 2016. Mixed and digital media. Photo credit: Craftspace.
  • Robyn Smith 3.jpg Pull yourself together bird brain, 2016. Mixed and digital media. Photo credit: Craftspace.
  • Ju-Eun skull.jpg Ju-Eun's artwork inspired by the work of Robyn Smith, 2017. Pencil and pastel on paper. Photo credit: Helen Tomkins
All Students

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration came with this piece of work when I discovered what was possible through Thingiverse. It is a website that really opens up possibilities. There are people who have designed codes for 3D printing and they are giving them away on Thingiverse. I saw the code design for a brain and I wanted it, it became the starting point for the form that the work would take.

I worked with Fablab in Sandwell to get the things produced and I found that an inspiring process too. Fablab is run by a woman, still something that is pretty rare in engineering and the support she gave me in finding solutions and making things happen was fantastic.

What type of materials do you use?

The piece on show in Made in the Middle is made mainly from a material called PLA, used in 3D printing and laser cut plywood and acrylic. Certain parts are made from salvaged scraps left over from the laser cutting process and other sources and I used photocopying for items such as the book covers.

In the past I have worked with other materials including glass which I used to make a pair of large mirrored gates as part of Craftspace’s Making Moves programme a few years ago.

How was the big brain exhibited in Made in the Middle made?

The brains were 3D printed. They had to be printed in two halves and in the case of the larger brain it took two and half days to print each side, so a week to print in total! It can be done more quickly but to get the very best quality of finish it had to be done in this way.