in the last 30 years of his life, claude monet painted a series of 250 oil paintings of water lilies at his home in giverny. the series became the french impressionist painter’s masterpiece and is revered the world over for its use of color, understanding of light and depth, and panoramic display. in homage to the famous water lilies, joseph coddington combines monet’s techniques with modern 3D printing technology to turn the 2D illusion of depth into a real three-dimensional object. the project aims to help audiences understand and reconnect with the original painting.
images courtesy of joseph coddington unless otherwise stated
to turn the flat paintings into 3D objects, coddington begins by layering images in adobe photoshop, just as monet layered the paint on his canvas. he constructs 15 layers through digital painting, with each one having color applied in a digitally improvised way based on observing monet’s original work. ‘the use of observation and impressionism reflects monet’s process, and I would forward that it is the best process to use to design within this context’, explains coddington. image one is the back image of the print, with each subsequent image adding another layer to the voxel print.
the result is a small, handheld print that can be viewed through light to evoke the murky pond water of giverny. in this way, coddington adds today’s craft-based tacit knowledge of 3D printing to monet’s visionary and immersive artwork from the early 20th century. ‘we can therefore bring a visual and craft-based sensation without detracting from the visual sensation of the print. pond water tends to be murky with fragments of materials floating within. these fragments appear at different depths when light shines through the body of water,’ he says.
coddington continues, ‘voxel printing can expose the 2D plane, and offer fragments of material to be dispersed through the crafted object. when a backlight shines through the print we get a similar quality to light rays shining through a pond, as the light illuminates and is distorted by the material fragments. the voxel print has a type of cinematography quality to it, due to harness light within an object, which separates the print from most stratasys J750 prints. the ability to harness light showcases the depth and 3D nature of crafted objects in ways monet is unable to capture’