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Tim Mather

(n.d.) lives and works in Indiana
Raku, 1973
clay, 25 x 25 x 10.75 inches, 93.39.221

In the spring of 1971, under the auspices of the International Academy of Ceramics, the Tennessee Arts Commission pledged its support for the promotion and establishment of the U.S. International Ceramic Symposiums. The Symposium’s mission to help develop a worldwide network of support for ceramic art was achieved by bringing together top ceramic artists from around the world for a month-long sharing of ideas and creation of innovative ceramics.


Left: Mather assembles a form from wheel-thrown parts and thin clay slabs. To support the clay form, he uses a wood dowel. Photo is in the 1973 ICS catalogue. Right: attaching clay.

Mather represented the United States at the First U.S. International Ceramic Symposium, which consisted of twenty-five artists from thirteen different countries, and was hosted in the summer of 1973 at the Memphis Academy of Art. While at the symposium, he made a handful of raku jars that incorporated twisted handles and eccentric protrusions. Mather would combine wheel thrown parts with thin clay slabs to achieve unique forms.

Following the symposium, Mather worked as a studio potter in Athens, Ohio, for a number of years, before moving to teach art at Indiana University Bloomington’s school of Art, Architecture, and Design. His recent work uses ceramic casts of found objects to challenge viewers to use their imagination and reconsider the possibilities, meaning, and metaphor of common objects.

Tim divides his time about evenly between sculptural and functional pieces primarily of stoneware, and uses salt glaze exclusively. He states, “I do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it, and I strike some kind of balance.” – 1973 International Ceramic Symposium catalogue

Written by Aiden Layer, TN Arts Intern