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Artists at school


Host an Artist or Writer.

Sara Mills
Michel-Louis Viala

Craft and design


Sara Mills and Michel-Louis Viala

Sara Mills has studied fine arts at Concordia University and design at Cegep du Vieux-Montréal, while Michel-Louis Viala has studied modern literature at the Université de Vincennes in Paris, and applied computer science at the UQAM. Both are potters. Their studio, Les Ateliers Pluriel Singulier, specialises in stoneware that is made for use at the dining table and in the kitchen. Each has had solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the U.S.A. and France. Both are founding organizers of "La Tournée des 20" studio tour in the Eastern Townships.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Clav, the sense of touch and the potter's wheel

This workshop deals with two of the more important aspects of the world of clay: first, the primordial role it plays in history and archaeology; secondly, the essential sense of touch used in the fabrication of clay objects. During the first part of the session the students will become familiar with the different stages in the making of a ceramic object. Using examples from the art world, the daily life of Amerindians and the pioneers, as well as from diverse ancient and modern civilizations, the participants will be able to follow the creative and technical steps required to make a piece of finished ceramic. The creation of a hand-pinched pot in clay by each student will be followed by a demonstration of making several objects on the potter's wheel. The workshop will then lead the students to discover the link between the steps used in making a 'pinch' pot and those used to make a pot on the wheel. Afterwards, each student will have the opportunity to throw his or her own pot on the potter's wheel (two electric wheels at least available). A flyer explaining the terms used during the session will be available for the students. This workshop, which is suitable for all ages, can be adapted to different subjects such as: First Nations (North and South America), ancient civilizations or to specific projects.

Examples of activities

Raku Firing workshops (High School students)

Use of the potter's wheel to create and make objects; once these pieces are bisque fired, the students can either come to our studio or we can bring a portable kiln to the school, and they can then glaze and decorate their own work and participate in a Raku firing. The students will have a completely finished ceramic object at this time. This session allows students to understand the Raku firing technique while familiarizing themselves with the processes that go into making a ceramic object.

Potters in the times of Ancient Egypt

Using hieroglyphs that describe the work of potters in ancient Egypt, we will introduce techniques that are specific to that time period. This will involve throwing ''off the hump'' on the potter's wheel, and decorating with coloured clays (engobes). Photos of examples of pottery from ancient Egypt will be shown.

Amerindian Pottery

With reference to the ceramics produced by First Nations people, we will describe their pottery techniques: clay extraction, preparation of clay, the way the different functional objects were made as well as the manner in which the pieces were fired. With reference to this information the students will use the same techniques to make their own creations.

Pottery as a trade

Through our own experience as full-time potters we will explain the daily activities of a potter: description and explanation of the work of a potter, their studio, materials, the different stages of producing the work and finally, the sales market. Apprentices, the length of an apprenticeship and schools specialising in ceramics will be discussed. With the above information in hand the students will be ready to be a potter and to create an object in clay and then describe the activity to the rest of the class.

Special conditions

The workshop requires clay, pigments and glazes at a maximum cost of $100 per day of hosted activities.

For information

Sara Mills
Phone : 450 248-3527
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



All levels

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In every regions

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