"Dots and Traces"

2024 | Design : Izumi Yano, Xuting Luo | Supervised by Prof. Konrad Jünger, Joana Schmitz
Scope : Semester project | Dueration : 5 monthes (2023/10-2024/02)

The project "dots and traces" is experimental research to explore the liveliness of slips. A robot arm, equipped with a plant drip irrigation device, transports two types of slips, thereby helping us to accurately let them drop into regular patterns. Whereas porcelain slips, when dropped on the casted objects, keep a three-dimensional shape, a mixture of porcelain and glaze creates flat and glossy patterns on the object's surface.

When a slip drops from the nozzle and touches the surface, the underlying surface absorbs moisture from the slip, thus "freezing" the shape of the drops and leaving their motion perceivable.Through a sequence of repeated movements, dots and traces are gathering, scattering, and overlapping.Those are mathematical patterns which evoke a natural geometry.

Gravity is the invisible key player in this project. Whereas the arranged set up, with defined viscosities, the surface and movement of the robot arm, is given in advance, the ultimate outcome results in an interplay of the set-up with gravity. The process makes gravity visible. Everything is in its place because of a prior movement. 

Research question

How can we explore the liveliness of slips and capture the movements?

Experiment by hands

We Apply dots by injector on the mold and casted.The dots shrink inside and have glossy surface.
Base : White porcelain
Dots : Mixture of porcelain, glaze and pigment

Experiments with robot

We used a robot arm and did experiment to draw dots. By changing height and speed of the arm, the size and distance of dots changed.

Experiment on 3d objects_drop on bodeis

Putted drops on the porcelain bodies.

Experiment on 3d objects_drop on molds

Droped slips on the mold and casted. Tested green and white pigments for dots.


We chose 3 shapes which might make interesting effects of drops and made 6 prototypes.

Paper models and final design

From the prototypes, We designed 3 kind of effective forms for achieving a various drop shapes and made actual size of paper molds to check the volume.

Mold making

The positive molds are made by cnc and 3d printer. we made 5 molds.


Use plant drip irrigation device to transfer slips. By using this tool, The dripping speed Become adjustable.


Control height and speed of the robot arm for each lines by grasshopper.