View of the midnight sun from ARKTIKUM Museum and Science Center



IAC 2021 Congress

Online 22-23 September 2021
From 1PM to 8 PM (UTC+3, local time in Rovaniemi)

NOTE: All congress material is available for 1 week following the Congress (to registered attendees only).

IAC General Assembly

Online 24 September 2021
For IAC members only (free, registration required)


Reminder: The 49th Congress and General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics will be held online in September 2021.

Everyone who has registered for the conference has received an email from Follow the instructions in the email and register yourself for the LIVETO online congress platform. If you did not get the email, please check your junk mail.


If you are encountering difficulties with signing in, please contact (in English)

If you have any other questions, please contact (in English)


* Please note that the information on this page is subject to modifications.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

The 49th Congress will kick off on Wednesday 22 September 2021 from the comfort of your own home.

The conference is opened by the President of the IAC, Torbjørn Kvasbø, followed by the first keynote speaker on this year’s theme “On the Edge”, Aalto University professor Tapio Yli-Viikari. Wednesday’s lecture on the theme is given by Nathalie Lautenbacher of Aalto University.

The keynote and two lectures on the topic “Signals from the Future” are respectively led by Adam Chau from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Michal Puszczynski from the Academy of Art and Design in Poland and Barbara Schmidt from the Weißensee School of Art and Design in Germany.

The third keynote speaker on Wednesday on the topic “Making and Wellbeing” is Professor Arild Berg from the Oslo Metropolitan University. This is followed by a lecture on the same topic by Dena Bagi from the University of Sunderland.

Breakout Sessions will again be part of this year’s Congress. On Wednesday, the first Breakout Session on the theme “On the Edge” will be moderated by Judith Schwartz, Vice President of the IAC Council, and the second session on “Signals from the Future” will be moderated by Wendy Gers, IAC Council Member.

Closing remarks by Torbjørn Kvasbø, IAC President, will bring an end to the first day of this virtual Congress.

Thursday 23 September 2021

The second day of the Congress, Thursday 23 September 2021, is opened by Reijo Lantto from the Arctic Ceramic Center.

The first keynote speaker on Thursday on the topic “Locality and Materiality” is Riikka Latva-Somppi from Aalto University, followed by a lecture by Love Jönsson, Director of the Rian Design Museum and a lecture by Priska Falin from Aalto University and Helen Felcey from Liverpool Hope University.

“Social and Political Reality” is discussed by keynote speaker Neil J. Brownsword from Staffordshire University and in lectures by Ahmed Umar and Kianoosh Motaghedi.

The third Breakout Session (first of Thursday’s sessions) on the topic “Making and Wellbeing” is moderated by Hyeyoung Cho, IAC Council Member, the fourth session on “Locality and Materiality” by David Jones, IAC Council Member, and the fifth Session on “Social and Political Reality” by Judith Schwartz, IAC Vice President.

Reijo Lantto, CEO of the Arctic Ceramic Center, and Torbjørn Kvasbø, IAC President, will close the 49th IAC Congress.


Friday 24 September 2021

The General Assembly takes place on Friday 24 September 2021 and is open to IAC Members only. It is free, but registration is required.

The agenda of the GA will be sent to members before the event.


PDF of the conference programme
Date Time (UTC+3) Programme schedule


13.00 – 13.10 Welcome
13.10 – 13.25 Opening of the conference by Torbjørn Kvasbø, President of IAC Council (Norway)
13.25 – 14.00

“On the Edge”

Introductions by Judith Schwartz (United States) PhD, Professor Emeritus, New York University / Vice President of IAC Council and Representative for the United States and Canada


Approach to Northern Ceramics; Arabia – Pentik
Tapio Yli-Viikari, Professor Emeritus, Aalto University, Finland

14.00 – 14.10 Intermission

14.10 – 15.05


“On the Edge”


Anu Pentik, Founder of Pentik, Finland

Silent Journey
Suku Park, Artist and Art Director of the Arctic Ceramic Centre, Finland

Remain Upright
Frédéric Bodet, Curator and Vice President of the C-14 Paris Ceramics Fair, France

On Solid Ground
Nathalie Lautenbacher, Lecturer in Design, Aalto University, Finland

15.05 – 15.15 Intermission
15.15 – 15.30  Discussion / Q&A on the theme “On the Edge”
15.30 – 15.50

BREAKOUT SESSION 1 – “On the Edge”

Introductions by Judith Schwartz (United States) PhD, Professor Emeritus, New York University / Vice President of IAC Council and Representative for the United States and Canada

On the Edge
Máret Ánne Sara, Artist and Author (Norway)

Critical Dialogues
Elaine Henry, Artist, Writer and Curator (United States)

Quartz Inversion: The Moment of Change
Adil Writer, Artist (India)

15.50 – 16.30 Intermission
16.30 – 17.05

“Signals from the Future”

Introductions by Pauliina Pöllänen, MA Visual Art, PhD Candidate and Artist, Norway


Undustrial Design
Adam Chau, Artist, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, United States

17.05 – 17.55

“Signals from the Future”


The Modern Approach to Wood-Fired Ceramics
Michal Puszczynski, PhD, Academy of Art and Design, Poland

Thinking with Material – Ceramics in Design Processes
Barbara Schmidt, Professor for Experimental Design, Weißensee School of Art and Design, Germany

17.55 – 18.05 Discussion / Q&A on the topic “Signals from the Future”
18.05 – 18.15 Intermission
18.15 – 18.45

BREAKOUT SESSION 2 – “Signals from the Future”

Introductions by Wendy Gers (South Africa) PhD, IAC Council Member representative for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

Intangible Heritage
Monika Gass, Artist and Curator (Germany)

Holocene Park
Paul March, Artist (Switzerland)

Geometric Translations
Antra Sinha, Artist (India)

Living the Earth
Virginia Fróis, Associate Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture, Oficinas do Convento (Portugal)

18.45 – 19.20

“Making and Wellbeing”

Introductions by Anniina Koivurova, D.A., Curator, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland


Ceramic Practice in Health Research – Making Public Art in a Hospital
Arild Berg, Professor of Artistic Research in Product Design, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

19.20 – 19.45

“Making and Wellbeing”


Clarification through Clay: Visualising Meaning-Making
Dena Bagi, PhD/Doctoral candidate, University of Sunderland, United Kingdom

19.45 – 19.55 Discussion / Q&A on the topic “Making and Wellbeing”
19.55 – 20.00 Closing speech by Torbjørn Kvasbø, President of IAC Council (Norway)
13.00 – 13.05 Welcome
13.05 – 13.15 Opening speech by Reijo Lantto, CEO, Arctic Ceramic Centre, Finland
13.15 – 13.45

BREAKOUT SESSION 3 – “Making and Wellbeing”

Introductions by Hyeyoung Cho (Republic of Korea), IAC Council Member representative for South Korea

Pandemic Pills
Madhvi Subrahmanian, Artist (Singapore)

Environmental Degradation and Redemption: Healing through Making
Holly Hanessian, Artist and Educator  (United States)

Naos – Self Temples
Estefania Valls, Artist (Guatemala)

Medalta / Reclaiming Making & Wellbeing
Trudy Golley, Artist and Educator (Canada)

13.45 – 13.55 Intermission
13.55 – 14.30

“Locality and Materiality”

Introductions by Caroline Slotte, Professor of Ceramic Art, KHiO-Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway


Soil as a Material Mediator: Combining Environmental Research with Ceramic Practice
Riikka Latva-Somppi, Curator and Artist-Researcher, Aalto University, Finland

14.30 – 15.20

“Locality and Materiality”


Fairy Tales and Decadence – Recent Developments in Figurative Ceramic Sculpture in the Nordic Region
Love Jönsson, Director of Rian Design Museum, Falkenberg, Sweden

What Is It All For?
Priska Falin, Artist-Researcher, Aalto University, Finland

Helen Felcey, Artist, Educator and Curator, Liverpool Hope University / British Ceramics Biennial, United Kingdom

15.20 – 15.30 Discussion / Q&A on the topic “Locality and Materiality”
15.30 – 15.45 Intermission
15.45 – 16.15

BREAKOUT SESSION 4 – “Locality and Materiality”

Introductions by David Jones (United Kingdom) PhD, IAC Council Member representative for the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Benelux

The Wild Clay
Takuro Shibata, Artist (United States)

Hualien Paradise – Disappearing Culture of the Amis Earthenware Tradition in Taiwan
Wen-Hsi Harman, Artist (Chinese Taipei)

Manifesto for Clay
Julia Schuster, Artist (Austria)

Marking Time
Julie Bartholomew, Artist and Educator (Australia)

16.15 – 17.00 Intermission
17.00 – 17.35

“Social and Political Reality”

Introductions by Lars Sture, Curator, Artist, Norwegian Crafts, Norway


Beyond Preservation: Re-evaluating Intangible Cultural Heritage in the UK Ceramic Industry
Neil J. Brownsword, Artist and Professor, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom

17.35 – 18.25

“Social and Political Reality”


Solace in Clay
Ahmed Umar, Visual Artist, Sudan/Norway

Female Iranian Ceramists: From the Beginning of Modernism to the Present Day
Kianoosh Motaghedi, Ceramist and Independent Researcher in Islamic Ceramics, Iran

18.25 – 18.35 Discussion / Q&A on the topic “Social and Political Reality”
18.35 – 18.45 Intermission
18.45 – 19.15

BREAKOUT SESSION 5 – “Social and Political Reality”

Introductions by Judith Schwartz (United States) PhD, Professor Emeritus, New York University / Vice President of IAC Council and Representative for the United States and Canada

Canada C3: A Crucible
Paula Murray, Artist (Canada)

The Power of Ceramics to Express the Tragedy of Forced Migration
Patty Wouters, Artist (Belgium)

Without Borders – 9 Hungarian Artists
Judit Varga, Artist and Educator (Hungary)

It All Started with an Apple
Beril Anilanmert, Artist and Educator (Turkey)

19.15 – 19.30

Closing speech by Reijo Lantto, CEO, Arctic Ceramic Centre, Finland

19.30 – 19.45

Closing remarks by Torbjørn Kvasbø, President of IAC Council (Norway)

14.00 – 17.00 General Assembly
(open to IAC members only – free but registration is required)
Opening / Closing speeches
Keynote speeches
Breakout Sessions


Additional information on the programme

The auditorium of the Korundi House of Culture

Lectures programme: The programme will include lectures and panel discussions on the proposed focal theme “On the Edge”. Surrounding the daily talks, a series of exhibitions and events will be available to the participants. “On the Edge” is an especially relevant theme in Finland and Lapland. Finland is located at the edge of Europe both geographically and culturally, and Lapland is part of the mystical Arctic region, or an “Ultima Thulé” if you wish; the border of the known world.

Around these discussions, exhibitions to visit online are available on the congress platform at all times.

 “On the Edge” is a theme which encourages discussions on the mainstreams and the margins in ceramics, as much on the essence of ceramic art, as on its positioning amongst all art forms. “On the Edge” will also be interpreted as a timeline, a continuum between the past, present and future.

Breakout Session: This event, open to the public, is a promotional event for IAC members. It is intended for the announcement of cultural activities (programmes, research, artistic experience, etc.), within a format of five minutes per presenter.

Registration, policy and fees

Information on registration fees, payment options and cancellation policy.

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Information on the lectures.

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The theme “On the Edge” applies to all congressional exhibitions.

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Theme of the Congress

"On the Edge" is a location, a feeling, as well as a critical position.

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General Information

General information on the format of the Congress.

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