Scheming a Spectacle- Lizzie Cannon and Dr Bryson Gore

On Monday I met with Lizzie Cannon, Made in Bow artist, Dr Bryson Gore and Rosamond Murdoch, Director of the Nunnery. We visited the Carmelite Cafe and Nunnery gallery space to plan an evening event which will take place on Thursday 04 July which is being shaped by Lizzie and Bryson through their shared wonder in the behaviour of materials.

Dr Bryson Gore is a scientist who has spent the past 25 years as a Science communicator, delivering demonstration lectures in schools and developing science experiments for TV. Bryson currently has the amazing position of Inventor- in- Residence at a Lab 13 project in Nottingham.

Lab 13 projects are designed to be a space where young people can explore through their natural curiosity. Based in a school, but entirely managed by young people, and with an inventor, engineer or scientist in residence, the idea of Lab 13 is based on the world famous Room 13 art studio in Fort William, Scotland.

Lab 13

Lizzie Cannon is a Bow Arts artist and as part of the Bow Porcelain project was commissioned to make new work for the Made in Bow exhibition. Through interviewing her earlier in the project I was aware that she graduated from Goldsmiths in textiles. Through conversations with Bryson about the wear and decay of natural substances (specifically the ingredients in clay)  it also came about that Lizzie previously studied physical Geography. Althugh quite a contrast to textiles or fine art in a way I was not surprised to hear this, as she has such a strong interest in growth and decay. Lizzie creates beautiful and believable combinations of found and made objects and through this her work explores the symbiotic relationship between industrial and natural.

What both Bryson and Lizzie know is that in nature all is not exacty as it seems. When you try to manipulate materials they can do surprising and unpredictable things. Each of them, in their own ways have carried out enough experiments to understand why Thomas Frye had so many attempts to define the exact proportions of ingredients for porcelain and why it took two patents and four years to get the recipe right.

Bryson, with his strong interest in the science inherent in many of the traditional crafts such as ceramics will enlighten us with what is actually going on when clay is mixed, and what changes when this mix of particles is placed in a kiln. He will also invite us to join him in one of his favourite demonstrations, which involves turning one of the two main ingredients in porcelain clay into liquid using sound in a high spirited spectacle.

This event will involve some key ingredients: an introduction to Lizzie’s previous practice with materials and why she wanted to use porcelain for the first time, live experiments unveiling what is actually going on when we make porcelain, and links to Bow Porcelain production and its eventual demise. It is an invitation to join in both practical demonstrations and discussion. Inspired by Lizzie’s interest in alchemy I am sure it will ignite ours!


7.00pm short introduction to the Made in Bow exhibition and presentation of Lizzie Cannon’s work.

7.15pm Bryson Gore will lead a 30 minute practical demonstration of the properties of porcelain, involving transforming clay into a liquid using sound.

7.45pm Lizzie and Bryson will then lead a 30 minute informal discussion around alchemy, wonder and the behaviour of materials.

For more information or to book, go to:

Lizzie Cannon and Dr Bryson Gore


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