Paul McMullan - Guest Cousin

Cousins in Clay in Seagrove, North Carolina 

hosted by Bulldog Pottery / Gholson & Henneke
June 2 - Saturday- 10:00am - 5:00pm
June 3 - Sunday- 10:00 - 4:00pm


Paul McMullan - Keene, New Hampshire 

Artist Statement

Masquerade:  Noun 1:  a false show or pretense. Verb 1:  pretend to be someone one is not

Façade 1: The front of a building; also: any other face 2: a false, superficial, or artificial appearance or effect

Using ceramic figurines as the bases for my narratives began ten years ago with a visit to a mom-and-pop shop. The new 18th century figurine “Holly Hobby” sitting contently, pleasantly and fixed innocently on the mantel became my muse. Grounded upon their base, images of children playing, pumpkins, birds and farmers all reflected this stone glazed happiness.
Simultaneously in the same shop, a cross section of the local female population sat at a table decorating figurines totally unaware of my presences. I became a voyeur into a small community, listening to the local gossip hearing personal stories of drugs, sex, affairs, car wrecks and above all life.  As a 21st century nomad, living between communities, abroad in Croatia then back to the US with my Canadian family, as an outsider to community, I felt isolated, distant and jealous of this camaraderie.
Hiding behind a façade, both these happy bliss filled figurines, and myself conceal our unseen pain, guilt and angst of everyday life. These objects become a storage place for hopes and dreams before heading back to reality.  My ceramic work is about that unspoken reality.


Paul McMullan was born in Rochester, New York.  He received his M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York and his B.F.A. from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Recent exhibitions include Hanging by a Thread at Galleri Se Konst in Falun, Sweden, Fresh Figurines at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, The New Utilitarian an NCECA Exhibition at the Hoffman Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and A Tale to Tell at the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. McMullan has taught at Alfred University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Siena Heights University. He is currently Professor of Art at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. He received the McKnight Fellowship from The Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota and has his work in various permanent collections including the Weisman Museum of Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota and The Ministry of Arts Council in Falun, Sweden.

McMullan’s sculptural forms deal with clay as a collage material. He incorporates the use of photo-silkscreen, painting, decals, molds and various handbuilding techniques to achieve a complex object.