Tektites are a collection of ceramic works by Studio Furthermore. A close relative of glass, ceramics are woven into the fabric of our anthropology and will play a certain roll in our material future. Delighted by the promise of such versatility Furthermore decided to investigate the use of ceramic foams. Ceramic foams have been used in applications such as mirror mountings on space telescopes as well as the heat shielding that aided NASA's space shuttles to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere unsinged. The designers decided to replicate ceramic foam production by developing a craft scaled polymer replica process.
Parian is a variant of bisque porcelain similar in appearance to the ultra fine-textured parian marble found in the mountains to the north of the Aegean island of Paros to which it owes it's name. The ultra fine and impurity free qualities of the material make for a fluid slip which had the Victorian pottery firms of Stoke-on-Trent disputing clams of it's invention. Parian wares were presented by numerous manufacturers at the Great Exhibition of 1851 however, they narrowly missed out on winning a meddle since the jury couldn't get to the bottom of the disputed claims of invention.
Porcelain, already considered to be a superior clay, differs slightly from parian in so much as parian contains a higher proportion of mineral feldspar. When fired, the high feldspar content glasses into a smooth, strong, self-glazing material by means of the vitrification process. What results is a tough ceramic that is highly impermeable to liquids.
Furthermore produced samples of different clays such as stoneware, porcelain and recipes containing reactive alumina, sodium feldspar and ball clay before settling on parian. The designers tried impregnating various kinds of open celled foams to see how each behaved. It was found that the relatively high viscosity of parian slip was advantages during foam impregnation and once fired to 1200°C and cooled, something quite magical remained. The designers found fragments that resembled meteorites. To the touch these fragments felt warm, hard and stone like but bizarrely they felt near weightless also. Tektites are the first collection of foamed ceramic pieces presented by Studio Furthermore.