Joel Frank
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Installation at Mills College Art Museum — Porcelain + Chrome

 3D Computer Model and Rendering — Rhino 3d + Octane Render

3D Computer Model and Rendering — Rhino 3d + Octane Render


Ceramics has the creative immediacy like nothing else I have ever tried. It began in college and now anywhere I live, I always join the nearby communal ceramics studio; I'm currently at the Potter's Studio in Berkeley. Occasionally I plan out what I'm going to make with CAD models and rendering (as shown on the left). However, more often than not, I use ceramics as a tool to just see where creativity takes me. Clay always teaches me something, usually color, texture, and the flexibility of form. But more than anything it teaches me the power of letting go. If you hold on too tight and don't flow with your material it will fall apart right there in your hands. Working in ceramics always has a direct message related to design and making.. but whenever I look I find a fascinating metaphor that helps me do more and see clearer.

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This project was a private art commission done for VINA ENOTECA, an Italian restaurant in Palo Alto. Derivative of an exhibition I had at San Francisco's  Minnesota Street Project, this work engages the monochromatic space with bursts of color and textures to compliment the range of food emerging from the kitchen.

Like my other work, I contrast the corporeal feel of ceramics against the rigidity of steel and armature structures.  

Materials: Custom glazed ceramic stoneware held up by a steel armature.

Dimensions: 144" x 120" x 6" 


Gallery exhibition with the first version of this project at Gallery 201, Minnesota Street Project

Design Concept:



Growing up I was always nose in the dirt catching snakes. As i get older and return to the fields and gardens of my childhood, I find that the snakes are gone. In this piece, I explore the existential side of perception and how it undetectably shifts under our feet. Are the snakes gone because the envi-ronment has changed, or do the snakes appear to be gone because I am now over 6' tall and no longer on their level? Have I changed or have my surroundings? Each hanging ceramic piece is part of a wild and free feral snake which represents shifting identities and perceptions in my life; a reminder to always try and see things from multiple sides.

 Rhino CAD Model for RFQ

Rhino CAD Model for RFQ

Rhino 3D Model and Octane Render

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Sanding Finish Work

Setting tool paths for CNC Mill using RhinoCam


Model Rhino 3D and Octane Render Cinema 4D

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Completed in Wood Shop

 Hand Built: Maple, Purple Heart, and Walnut

Hand Built: Maple, Purple Heart, and Walnut

Rendered 3d model using Rhino + Octane Render


I am often in bed late at night working on my laptop. With a crowded night stand, I had nowhere to put my computer when done so I developed these bedside computer holders. They mount to the wall and allow a laptop of any size to be held safely out of harms way from water glasses or the risk of falling that comes inherent with hastily leaving it on a bedside table. I love wood working so I make them for people whenever asked.