Crania Anatomica: Joshua Harker

Curator: Chuck Anderson
date: January 9, 2012
Categories: Advertising
Tags: 3d printing, Kickstarter, sculpture, skull
Joshua Harker’s Crania Anatomica sculpture

Sometimes you come across something online and you think “I have to have that.” Unfortunately sometimes that happens on Kickstarter, where said thing simply may not be a reality. Fortunately, Joshua Harker’s Crania Anatomica project was so incredible, it was destined to be successfully funded and realized. The third most funded Arts project ever on Kickstarter, Harker’s delicately detailed 3D printed skull sculpture now sits happily on a shelf in my home and feels in person every bit as jaw-dropping as it looks in pictures.

“This sculpture is simultaneously powerfully delicate, a great conversation piece, & completely bitchin cool.” If Harker himself hadn’t said those exact words about his work, I would have. It’s spot-on. What is so intriguing to me about this piece is the backstory and everything it took to bring it to fruition. On the Kickstarter page for the project, Harker tells how he has been creating drawings and designs like this for the past 20 years but never had the technology to bring them to sculptural, physical fruition. That is, until about 5 years ago when “the perfect storm of software, technology, and materials engineering all came together that now allows me to create my work 3-dimensionally.”

Joshua Harker's Crania Anatomica sculpture, 3/4 view

Joshua Harker’s Crania Anatomica sculpture, top view

There are about a million and one different ways to be inspired by this. The thought of an artist finally realizing his drawings can come to 3D life, the degree of technical complexity and knowledge it takes to make it all happen in the first place and the successful Kickstarter campaign all come together to form a truly beautiful story of determination, patience and design.
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