Nov 16, 2015 | By Kira

Like many artistic hobbies, the ancient craft of pottery or clay making is an excellent ways to relieve stress and tap into your creativity. The act of working, kneading and smoothing the wet clay can be both stimulating and relaxing, epitomizing the satisfaction you can get from really getting your hands dirty, connecting with the Earth, and truly creating something from start to finish with your own two hands. However, not everybody wants to get their actual hands dirty, and instead turn to virtual apps that let them spin, paint and share their creations online and mess-free via their smartphones or tablets.

Today, ReallyMake has launched a new Android app that lets you spin a variety of fully personalized clay, ceramics, earthenware, porcelain and stoneware works of art via their virtual Pottery Wheel. Yet as the name implies, the app lets you ‘really make’ your creations in real life, by either creating digital files that can be 3D printed, or sending the design to certified potter, to have it made and delivered to your doorstep.

The process for designing a custom-made virtual work of ceramic art is simple. The ReallyMake app offers nine different colors of clay as well as portfolio of ‘virtual’ pottery wheel shaping techniques typically used by real world potters. Artists can use the techniques to spin useful pieces, such as vases, cups or bowls, try more abstract sculptures, or indulge their creativity by merging form and function.

Once satisfied with the shape, users then decorate and glaze their sculpture, selecting from eight available paint colors, personal stamps, and various patterns. The finished product can then be stored in a virtual gallery, to be viewed by the online pottery-making community.

Screenshots from various devices

However going above and beyond merely displaying the finished pieces, ReallyMake’s gallery has a distinctively commercial aspect. Once posted, artists can buy or sell earthenware works of art via various online auctions, clubs, galleries, guilds and even retail pottery stores.

They can then take the virtual pieces they have purchased, and either download the design and send it to be printed at a local 3D printing facility (the app will list suggestions), or send the model to a participating artist, guild member or pottery studio, where a professional artist will bring it to life. The app also includes an ‘augmented reality’ feature, that lets the user visualize how the artwork would look sitting on their desk, mantle, or book place before they commit to creating a physical model.

Though the Android app itself is free, users must still pay the 3D printing/artists fee to create the physical model. Additionally, the prices of each piece are listed on the app in ‘ReallyPoints’ rather than dollars, however the website does not yet reveal how much a ReallyPoint is worth.

As a new and free-to-download app, ReallyMake’s Virtual Pottery Wheel is a fun and imaginative way for users not only to experiment with traditional pottery and clay work, but to truly see their creations come to life and learn about 3D printing technology. And since it’s totally portable and mess-free, it would be the perfect activity to pair with a marathon of the BBC’s latest hit, The Great Pottery Throwdown. For an ancient handcrafting technique, pottery certainly has found its home in the modern world of smartphone apps, reality TV and 3D printing technology.



Posted in 3D Software



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