Make and Take
In the days leading up to Chinese New Year, the Rose Kennedy Greenway revealed a new public art installation in Chinatown Park, continuing its rotating exhibit based on the Chinese Zodiac. Aptly titled Make and Take, the commissioned work showcases a fully-functional 3D printer. Make and Take will make and dispense 2,017 tangible, limited-edition, complimentary roosters for the public to pick up and take over the duration of the new Chinese calendar year—the Year of the Rooster. Make and Take was created collaboratively by Chris Templeman and New American Public Art (NAPA).
Make and Take is installed in front of the modern red gate at Essex Street. Its enclosure stands around eight-feet tall and is constructed of an aluminum frame and clear polycarbonate windows. Internally illuminated from multiple angles, it reveals the workings of the 3D printer—a FlashForge Creator Pro that has been modified by Templeman especially for this installation. Each day, the printer dispenses six to eight roosters made out of PLA plastic into a free vending drawer.
The continuous operation of the printer, as well as the number of prints being attempted over the span of a year, present demanding technical challenges and an exciting experiment in digital replication. This challenge is heightened by the choice to use a consumer-grade printer costing less than $1,000. By demystifying the technical process and highlighting the democratization of manufacturing made possible by technologies such as 3D printing, Templeman and New American Public Art hope to inspire creativity in the public.
In addition to imbuing this zodiac year with a modern maker aesthetic, Make and Take nods to artisanal tradition and gives testimony to historical means of production. The roosters that will be printed are modeled on an existing artifact, a porcelain rooster housed in the European collection at Boston’s MFA. Titled simply as Rooster, the object is classified as “China for export,” referring to objects produced by potters in China between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries specifically for export to the West. The MFA acquired the porcelain rooster as a gift from the Lamb sisters, who were patrons of the arts in Boston for many years.
Under the guidance of the MFA, Templeman digitized the rooster using a Matter and Form 3D Scanner. Make and Take will be on display through 2017. The work was made possible with the support provided by the Greenway Conservancy and the Radian building, Boston.
Make and Take in the news
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Make and Take
New American Public Art
Essex Street, Boston MA
Chris Templeman is an artist, engineer, and educator. Raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Chris now lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts. He works out of Artisan’s Asylum along with his collaborators at New American Public Art. In his engineering practice, Chris refines available technology for different contexts, making it more accessible in the process. Providing access to technology is a main theme in his work. Make and Take is his first major public art piece.
Chris finds the most contentment in transforming his ideas into tangible objects. He welcomes opportunities to share the promise and perils of 3D printing through discussion and practice.