Hacked Victorian drawing machines create ceramics
Designer/maker Liam Hopkins, the man behind consultancy Lazerian, will breathe life into a 19th-century drawing machine as part of a bold ceramic experiment.
The Alchemy Collection will be produced live at The Self Made Gallery in Manchester, where liquid ceramic slip will be manipulated by Victorian drawing machines – which traditionally use ink.
The ceramic slip will come to rest on plaster beds, which draws off the water and helps the forms set.
‘I can keep changing the size and the speed so each piece is different,’ says Hopkins, who sees the project as an antithesis to the ubiquity of 3D printing.
‘The current trend in 3D printing urged me to look back at traditional machines that don’t rely on computers and have human interaction, bringing a sense of soul and meaning to an item produced. I’m drawn to create pieces that will be completely unique,’ says Hopkins.
Hopkins believes ceramics are mostly purchased for their aesthetics, colour and form, rather than function, due to the longevity of the material.
‘This led me to think about creating an experimental collection with no function, other than pieces of object d’art.’
Lazerian and The Alchemy Collection machine will be installed in the Self Made Gallery, 59 Church Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1PW from 20 July-4 August.