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Design guided by time, matter and hands is the philosophy of ceramist Mathilde Martin.


Ceramics have always been present in Mathilde’s life, from the moment she touched damp clay as a child to today, where her practice has become a conduit for her emotions. Art studies could have taken her down the path of research or journalism, but it was gastronomy that captured her attention, ignited by a desire for embodied experiences and emotional expression.

Her career took her to London, where she expanded her chef’s repertoire but also learned to be a sommelier, a skill that made her aware of the importance of the earth – the one that nourishes the exceptional produce she handled but also took shape between her hands. 


Since 2016, she has given herself over to ceramics, fully, simply. “To just be in ceramics,” she says. To match the purity of gesture she seeks, Mathilde choose stoneware, using Burgundy clay, a demanding material that offers those who master it a subtle palette of delicate tones.


Between her hands, objects take shape, but they come to life when light brushes their earthy surfaces. Mathilde refutes the idea that her creations are fixed in time and place. “I look at an object at every step, under every angle. As there are no colours, only the rawness of materials, natural enamels, the impact of light is important.” Be it on a shelf, on a table or in the hand, Mathilde Martin ceramics are living art objects.


Far from a production-driven approach, she lets her hands wander along the landscapes of her personal universe. Her inspirations are connected to the world around her but instinct always prevails. While she admires the results of the potter’s wheel, Mathilde is more interested in the traces left by human hands, modelling each item herself. Her atelier is now based in Brittany.


Her quest is one for inherent beauty, rather than uniform results. Alone with a bloc of clay, she leaves her desires inform the shapes that she forms while her sense of harmony give her the perfect final proportions. In tune with the clay between her hands, she understands the influence of seasons, of emotions, without ever forgetting that the oven can reveal, or destroy, weeks of patient efforts.


Beyond objects and experiences, connections are important to her. When she works for others, as she has for the stoneware dinnerware for restaurant Hoy or the vases she created for noted florist Castor, her artistic expression becomes a dialog. “Giving something of you is as important as understand who will receive the object,” she believes.

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