The 3D Printed Ceramic Dreams of the Depressed Unicorn

When Shapeways announced they were offering model builds in glazed ceramic, they caught the attention of Chicago-based designers Jerry O’Leary and Joe Graceffa.

The duo decided to give themselves a challenge: conceptualize, design, model, and upload an idea within a single night. 

Five hours later, an “Homage to the Nugget” was born. Of course, you can’t just throw out a phrase like “Homage to the Nugget” without answering a few questions.  

Q: What kind of nugget are we talking about? 

A: That would be the humble chicken nugget. 

Q: Why would anyone create an homage to a chicken nugget? 

A: The nugget suffers from its associations with convenience, affordability, and mass production. For most adults, its pleasures are of the guilty sort. 

The pair wondered if they could design a way to alter these perceptions without getting too serious about it. What about ceramic nuggets? They liked the idea, but realized that a nugget that cracks your teeth isn’t much good. 

A big breakthrough came when the designers learned that there are only four shapes of nuggets, and that some people refer to these shapes by the states that they most closely resemble: Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, and Arkansas. Jerry and Joe were intrigued. There was something about the distance between the historic, stately names (no pun intended) and the humble nugget. They decided to see if they could bridge this gap by serving “exquisite” nuggets. They really liked the idea of serving domes–those fine-dining ones everyone has seen on TV but few have had the pleasure of actually experiencing. 

What else? Nuggets were bought. Over the course of one night, Joe and Jerry sketched, modeled, and uploaded their work. The final result is their attempt to bring emotion and drama the experience of a humble food. 

Take a look at their work in their Shapeways store – Depressed Unicorn

Shapeways <3’s Unicorns

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Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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