This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 16 June 2021, 1pm to 2pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

How do you turn a pot on the wheel, forge a steel bar or spin wool into yarn? Join scientist, writer and storyteller Anna Ploszajski for a journey of exploration into the world of craft and discover the science behind the materials.

Anna, author of Handmade: A Scientist’s Search For Meaning Through Making, has forged a cast-iron reputation in pop-science circles for sharing her wonder at the metals, plastics, ceramics, glasses and composites that make up the modern world.

But recently she embarked on a quest to learn from the true master makers – blacksmiths, potters, stonemasons and carpenters. Learn how Anna got on making her own creations and the science behind them. The event will be chaired by John Hart of the North Yorkshire Network of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

This event is presented with the support of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).


This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.


Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner.  In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.  

About the speakers

Anna Ploszajski is an award-winning materials scientist, writer and storyteller.  She did a PhD in materials science, but is now more of a materials generalist, equally fascinated by metals, plastics, ceramics, glasses and substances from the natural world. She channels this passion through writing, research, crafting, talks and podcasting.

John W. Hart is a Mechanical Engineer with 47 years of experience working in Railway and Iron Ore Mining, both in the UK and overseas. He has served in a wide diversity of supervisory and management positions as well as pure engineering roles. He is a member of the IET North Yorkshire Local Network Committee, which organises visits, events, life skills workshops and professional registration clinics and meets in York.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is the largest multidisciplinary professional engineering institution in the world. The North Yorkshire Network of the IET is a proud supporter and collaborator of York Festival of Ideas.


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