The Alchemy Collection

A project derived of the Bench clothing label, founded in Lazerian’s home city of Manchester, the Self-Made Gallery was the site of Lazerian’s breath-taking Alchemy Collection.

Evocative of the industry that stood between the walls of Lazerian’s Victorian-era studio space and elsewhere in the city, but also directly inspired by the seismic influence of cheaper and more prevalent 3D printing techniques on the design industry, Liam Hopkins developed a mechanical installation to create ceramic art.

In a departure from the studio’s regular practice and looking momentarily to the past, Lazerian’s reaction to the prevalence of computer-originated manufacturing was to abandon the digital design process entirely. Effectively redesigning a 19th Century drawing machine, Lazerian sought out traditional formulas of human interaction and a system of levers and laboratory glassware to create drawings in ceramic slip, a suspension of water and clay that dries quickly on contact with plaster.


The machine’s horizontal mechanism was variable in speed and direction, while each item of glassware had distinct properties that influenced the amount of coloured slip that was released onto the surface beneath. The result was a unique, geometric drawing each time the machine was put into motion, providing stark contrast to the often predictable, inhuman outcomes that are experienced with computer-driven, 3D printing.

Credits: Photography by Sebastian Matthes, Video by Ben Rose