Boston Valley Launches Off-Site Glaze Lab Led by Research and Design Specialist Andy Brayman
Andy Brayman is an expert ceramicist with years of experience as an artist and an entrepreneur — his academic credits include a BA in Sociology and a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Kansas and MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University. Now he joins Boston Valley as the new research and development specialist, overseeing the evolution of new glazes and profiles from an off-site research lab.
In 2005, Brayman founded The Matter Factory as Kansas City’s own experimental ceramic test facility. The Matter Factory provides collaborative spaces for artists looking to innovate their ceramic practice. Working with the latest technologies, Brayman and other Matter Factory artists seek new approaches to the ceramic medium, creating work at the intersection of craft and technology.
As Boston Valley continues to provide services at the cutting edge of ceramic production, it is imperative to bring in outside minds and invest in innovative technological approaches. This addition of Andy Brayman is part of Boston Valley’s effort to continually improve manufacturing processes and methods.
The new off-site Research & Development Lab enhances Boston Valley’s ability to provide unique profiles and custom glaze options to clients. To aid in his process, Boston Valley has equipped Brayman with a smaller model of the same gas kilns in the Boston Valley main production facility. The kiln at The Matter Factory can replicate the firing conditions in the main factory, which helps Brayman create accurate test samples that can be applied to future projects in the larger, real-world manufacturing setting.
This isn’t Brayman’s first collaboration with Boston Valley; he has been a part of the ACAWorkshop since its inception in 2016. In 2018, he joined ACAW Team Radical Matter as a glaze consultant; the team’s prototype explored extrusion capabilities at Boston Valley.
This year, for the fourth ACAW, he is helping to facilitate the production of prototypes for all participating teams. Prototypes need to be able to be replicated in architectural assemblies and Andy Brayman is ensuring that each design will be manufacturable for large-scale production. From 3D modeling, modeling and mold production, and the fabrication, Brayman is helping this year’s ACAW attendees gain more familiarity and knowledge of the medium.