project #1
stellar fragment

by Dougall Paulson

3.5" x 4.5" x 3.5"
3-D cast porcelain
Edition of 52

Is a vase still a vase, if it’s also a proposal for a public work of art? How can the singular intimacy of a small object extend opportunities for community engagement and environmental activation?


Stellar Fragment sculptures represent a relic of cosmic geology, a shard that splintered off a distant star following a cataclysmic event, catapulted end-over-end through the universe, eventually entering our atmosphere. At twilight and into the night, the sculptures illuminate, energizing the space surrounding them to create an evening destination. Made of white patinated bronze and backlit stone lenses, the environment serves as a public space, an iconic stage, and a cultural landmark. The Stellar Fragments also inspire visitors to journey among the stars, creating their own stories. 

The Stellar Fragment vessel is an editioned porcelain maquette of a proposal for this imaginary public art commission. The piece is executed through a hyperprocess using primordial and brand-new ideas to create an object that straddles time and space. Originally handbuilt in slab-rolled clay, the vessel was then digitally scanned, manipulated, and scaled, then 3-D printed and cast in porcelain—an ancient form into an ultramodern form and back to an ancient form.