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2010 Workshops

Why Ceramics Matter as Art as Never Before: Critical Writing on Ceramics
Instructor: Paul Mathieu
February 20–21, 2010

Why write critically on ceramics? How do you approach the task? This two-day workshop on critical writing will begin by asking the question: “What is ceramics?”, and provide a template for exercises in writing on ceramics.

Throughout the workshop, Mathieu will interact with participants and will provide support and advice about writing on ceramics. Students will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of various approaches to critical writing and will have made significant progress in developing a critical essay on a subject of their choice.

Participants are encouraged to read some critical essays by Mathieu to be found on his web site,, including the Introduction to his new book on the The Art of the Future: 14 essays on Ceramics which can be read online or downloeaded at


Pual Mathieu
Head Flower Vase with Still-Life of Pots, porcelain, 2006

Odalisque Bowl, Matt, Diego, Damian, porcelain, 2008-09

Paul Mathieu received an MFA from UCLA in 1987. He has taught ceramics at many college and university levels, including Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Since 1996, he has been teaching at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC.

His work has been shown internationally and he has received many awards, including the "Grand Prix des Metiers d'Art" in 1985, the Chalmers Award in Crafts in 2000 and the Sadye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts and the Governor General Award in Visual Arts in 2007.

Mathieu’s texts have been published by Studio Potter in the USA, Ceramics: Art and Perception in Australia, La Revue de la Ceramique et du Verre in France, Keramieki Techni in Greece, and the national ceramics magazine of Israel, as well as Espace magazine, Artichoke and Contact in Canada. He is the author of a book "Sexpots: Eroticism in Ceramics", recently published by A&C Black in England, Rutgers University Press in the USA and in a German translation by Haupt in Switzerland. It features erotic ceramics from the Neolithic to today with an emphasis on the work of upward to 100 contemporary artists from all over the world. He also recently completed a new book, an overview of the history of ceramics, with an emphasis on contemporary works. This book, "The Art of the Future: 14 essays on Ceramics", is available on his website at

He has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre in Canada, the Tama Art Studios in Machida, Japan and the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary. Since the fall of 2003 he has made four separate stays at the San Bao International Ceramics Studio in Jingdezhen, China to research and realize new works. In 2009, he participated in an experimental design residency and symposium at the Hauguang Zibo Bone China Factory, in Shandong, China.

His work is in numerous private and public collections including Musee du Quebec, Musee d'Art Contemporain, Musee des Beaux-Arts both in Montreal, and the Gardiner Museum for Ceramic Art in Toronto; Shigaraki in Japan; the Victoria and Albert Museum in England and the LA County Art Museum in California.