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France / Paris

Skills Academy 2: Morning session 3

Pretty or plain? Colour and taste

Saturday 14th March 2015, 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
École des Mines ParisTech
60, boulevard Saint-Michel, Paris 6th 
Open to the public (advance bookings only): 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Skills Academy 2: Morning session 3
© Undo Redo

Clay is a far from uniform material, offering a host of decorative possibilities thanks to different firing techniques and specialist skills such as enamelling. Inspired by the medium’s rich visual variety, this session explores ornamentation in ceramics, based on ancestral know-how and the mastery of colour. Our knowledge of the chemical properties of clay underpins contemporary research, creative design and art. In this context, the session looks back at the history of ceramic styles, with a leading chemist and contemporary ceramicist in conversation, followed by a survey of the history of ceramic taste. 


9.30 a.m.
Philippe Walter, chemist, director of the CNRS laboratory of molecular and structural archaeology, in conversation with Jean Girel, master ceramicist. 

10.45 a.m.

11.15 a.m. ‘Collections, collectors: a history of taste in ceramics.’
Frédéric Bodet, heritage curator (contemporary collections), Sèvres - Cité de la Céramique.

‘Grounded!’ is the second Skills Academy from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, exploring the past, present and future of ceramics and clay. The Foundation’s biennial programme is open to artisans, designers and engineers seeking to explore innovative approaches to their material of choice. Participants are invited to contribute their professional practice and skills to a shared exploration of new ways forward. Monthly morning sessions for the first semester of 2015 offer an in-depth exploration of clay and ceramics from a historical, aesthetic, economic and technical perspective, coupled with an examination of the sustainability and future of this most fundamental of materials.

>> Discover the teaser of the Morning session 3

>> Back to Morning session 2: Creative clay.

>> Forward to Morning session 4: Ceramic techniques, innovation, research and development.

>> More about Skills Academy 2

>> Discover the morning session 3 on video

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École des Mines ParisTech
60, boulevard Saint-Michel, Paris 6th 
Open to the public (advance bookings only) : 


Under the supervision of Guillaume Bardet, guest designer and Skills Academy 2 educational director.