Three dimensional printing is a boon if you want to produce a lot of the same thing, each one identical to all the others. But does the fact that the objects are all exactly the same diminish their value? Liam Hopkins, aka Lazerian, got to thinking that he’d like to go in the opposite direction to the way modern technology is pushing, producing a ceramics collection that is completely unique, both in design and function, and made using traditional methods. The ceramic tiles he has chosen to use as a canvas are actually functionless, existing only as a piece of art in contrast to traditional ceramics which do a job, such as hold your fruit, as well as look pretty.
Hopkins has set up his team at the Bench Self Made Gallery in Manchester, where he’s been bringing The Alchemy Collection to life in real time. To decorate the ceramic, he’s taken a leaf from the Victorian book of ingenious inventions, recreating a version of their drawing machine in which the “ink” – in this case ceramic slip, a kind of quick-drying paint – is held over the target in scientific glassware and manoeuvred using a set of levers. Each bit of glassware will drop the slip at different rates, causing unique geometric patterns to form. If you’re finding it hard to visualise, pop down before 4th August and see it in action.