THE BENCH SELF MADE GALLERY PRESENTS: The Alchemy Collection From Liam Hopkins of LAZERIAN

From Saturday 20th July to Sunday 4th August, Liam Hopkins (Lazarian) and his team will be installed in the Bench Self Made Gallery in Manchester’s Northern Quarter bringing The Alchemy Collection to life; a ceramic collection produced in real time.

LIVE EXHIBITION: Saturday 20th July to 4th August – usual gallery hours


EVENING VIEW: Thursday 1st August – 6-8pm


The experimental collection, based around the unique properties of ceramic slip, laboratory glassware and victorian drawing machines, will be produced on site in the gallery, culminating in an evening view open to all on Thursday 1st August.


This is the latest project from internationally acclaimed studio Lazarian, based in Manchester and set up by Liam Hopkins in 2006, which has to date produced works for, among many, the MOBOs, V&A and Habitat. Liam recently curated the Gerald and James exhibition in New York, featuring 105 of Lazerian’s Gerald dogs designed by artists including Oliver Hibert, Jimi Crayon, Tatiana Arocha and Stanley Chow.


Liam Hopkins on The Alchemy Collection: ‘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; the converse of a 3D printed object that can be repeated thousands of times with no sense of individual value.


‘I have been interested in the properties of ceramic slip for a while, it has a similar consistency to water based paint, but when it comes into contact with plaster it dries almost instantly.


‘As ceramics are most often 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 objet d'art.


‘These thoughts combined drove me to redesign a mid 19th century drawing machine to work with ceramics and bring its beautiful geometrical drawings to life in 3D. Experimenting with housing the ceramics in different lab glassware releases different amounts of slip. The machine’s speed and direction can be changed by the artist or designer to create a totally different outcome for each piece.


‘After the piece has been made with the ceramic, I am then going to look at moulding these pieces into the forms I see will work best with that drawing, bringing the piece to life.’


Liam, his team and The Alchemy Collection machine will be installed in the Self Made Gallery for two weeks from Saturday 20th July to Sunday 4th August. Visitors are invited to come and view the collection as it develops and watch as the art is created.