a machine that engraves and preserves ambient sounds in porcelain mugs.


As part of project with the rather fuzzy theme "surface" I developed my first machine – an engraving machine that would engrave porcelain cups based on the surrounding sound.

I equipped a ceramic turntable with a custom-built engraving arm that would slowly travel up, while pressing against the ceramic cup. The chisel is actuated by a hand-wound electric coil (electro magnet) based on the input from a sound source (which is of course amplified). Similar to the first attempts at sound recording with wax cylinders in 1885, an artifact is created that preserves and visualizes environmental phenomena.


The cups were handmade based on the iconic form of a simple plastic cup used at concerts and parties. The thin porcelain gave the form however a really nice feeling. Later they were also glazed to make them usable, but the matte finish right after engraving is way nicer.

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