Ateliers d'Art de France


Frédéric Mulatier


A legend I thought I had written: the story of the first ceramics, created by chance from the combination of clay and basketry.

The legend

Our distant ancestors used to make baskets to carry the food that they gathered. As they were put down on the ground time and again, their wickerwork became lined with mud or clay. Realising that, when it dried, this clay obscured the basket’s contents, they used these first containers made from plants and clay to protect their reserves from light, cold, the outside world…

Then fire appeared. A basket coated in clay was near the flames. The first ceramics were born. Our ancestors very quickly realised that this baked clay was useful. Basketry, along with chance and man’s ingenuity, had made this discovery possible.

Archaeological truths

From reading and meeting people, it became clear that ‘my’ legend was not a legend at all. Magali Cullin, a researcher at the French national centre for scientific research (CNRS), sent me some documents and scientific studies proving or describing how weaving and clay have been linked together in certain eras and in several parts of the world. The legend became reality.

Joining the past to the future

Searching through buried memories

Revealing forgotten secrets

Recalling the intelligence of men driven by the need for life and to be inventive

Honouring the hands which, in the depths of time, created the link between spirit and object

Giving back to weaving a part of its history, fossilised in unearthed fragments

Reversing ways of thinking

Forgetting them

Daring to do impossible things

Writing, drawing the footprints of the past

So tomorrow will be remembered

Attracting opposite poles

Joining them together in an unusual amalgamation

Discovering new unknown places

Inventing them


So that hope lives and grows

Frédéric Mulatier
Basket artist and sculptor, born in 1962
Lives and works in Chassiers

Main exhibitions


  • Personal exhibition, Chapelle Saint Barthélémy, Rochecolombe, France

  • Collective exhibition « Duos » with Antoine Brodin (souffleur de verre), L’Atelier, Paris, France


  •  Biennale des métiers d’art, Château de Vogüé, France

  •  Exhibition with Antoine Brodin, Galerie L’art et la Matière, Saint Amand en Puisaye, France



  • « Feux croisés », Film made by Aurélien Lambert on the collaboration with Antoine Brodin 

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