Robin Hopper

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Robin Hopper
Born(1939-04-23)April 23, 1939
DiedApril 6, 2017(2017-04-06) (aged 77)

Robin Hopper CM RCA (23 April 1939 – 6 April 2017)[1] was a Canadian ceramist, potter, teacher, author, garden designer and arts activist.[2]

Personal background[edit]

He was born in England in 1939, and died April 6, 2017, in Victoria, British Columbia.[2] He trained in pottery and ceramics at the Croydon College of Art from 1956 to 1961. In 1968 he immigrated to Canada. He spent the first two years teaching at the Toronto Central Technical School. He began his post-secondary educational career in 1970 at Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario where he founded and became head of the Ceramics and Glass Department. He resigned his post in 1972 to devote his time to his ceramics work. He relocated to Victoria, British Columbia 1977 to operate the family's 'Chosin Pottery Gallery.[3] He was a founding member [4] and president emeritus of the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts. Hopper’s work in ceramics includes a great deal of ceramic historical and technical research. Next to ceramics, his other lifelong interest was gardening, particularly the development of his oriental garden.[5]

Body of work[edit]

Hopper had both a functional and a decorative side to his production of pottery and ceramic works. His functional works were produced on an artizan basis. His production of functional pottery was by hand craftsmanship for individual pieces of a like design. He wrote several books on the subject of functional pottery. This craftsmanship had a particular application in ceramic works, many of which were one of a kind pieces for artistic exhibition. In these works he used a combination of glazing techniques. These were mainly porcelain decorative plates but he also created specialty items such as glaze paintings. A number of these works reflect the northern imagery of Canada.[6]

Academic and instructional positions[edit]

He taught throughout Canada, and in England, The United States, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan and Israel.[4]

Selected collections[edit]

His ceramic work is in public, corporate and private collections throughout the world. These collections include:

  • The Bronfman Collection, Montreal, Canada [4]


Robin Hopper was honoured for his contributions to the arts and public activities.


His interest in artistic gardens led to the creation of the Anglojapanadian Garden at ’Chosin Pottery.[5] This garden at Metchosin, British Columbia has been the subject of publications and television programs.[10]


Publications by Hopper[edit]

Robin Hopper wrote several books. Most of them deal with pottery and ceramics.

  • Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface Hopper, Robin; Krause Publications, Paperback: 304 pages, October 1, 2004 ISBN 978-0873495042
  • The Ceramic Spectrum 2nd ed. Hopper, Robin; Krause Publications, 2001, 256 pages, ISBN 0873418212, 9780873418218
  • The Ceramic Spectrum 1st ed. Hopper, Robin; Chilton Book Co., 1984, 224 pages ISBN 9780801972751
  • Functional Pottery 2nd ed. Hopper, Robin; Krause Publications, 2nd Edition 2000, 256 pages, ISBN 9780873418171
  • Functional Pottery 1st ed. Hopper, Robin; Chilton Book Co., 1986, 257 pages, ISBN 9780801974519
  • Stayin' Alive Hopper, Robin; Krause Publications, March 15, 2003, 128 pages, ISBN 978-0873495714
  • Clay and Glazes for the Potter 3rd ed. Rhodes, Daniel revised by Hopper, Robin; Krause Publications; 3rd Edition Revised and Expanded, November 15, 2000 ISBN 978-0873418638
  • Focus One: Contemporary Studio Ceramics; Campbell, Kathleen; Hopper, Robin and; Heath, Terrence; Stoneware, raku ware, porcelain, and earthenware by Canadian and international artists, Goose Lane Editions, 112 pages, 1997, ISBN 9780889151802

Video productions[edit]

Hopper produced videos for the education of potters and ceramists[11]

  • In 1993 he developed a series of six educational videos on ceramic decoration processes titled “Making Marks”, based on research material for his book of the same title.
  • In 1994, he produced a second series of five videos on design and aesthetics was produced, titled “Form and Function”, based on his second book “Functional Pottery”.
  • He has subsequently produced:
    • “Beginning to Throw on the Potter's Wheel”,
    • “Advanced Throwing”.

See also[edit]

List of Canadian artists


  1. ^ "Robin Hopper's Obituary". The Times Colonist. Archived from the original on 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  2. ^ a b Bell, Jeff (11 April 2017). "Obituary: Metchosin 'mud-pusher' was ceramics innovator". Times Colonist. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  3. ^ Petrescu, Sarah (December 30, 2016). "Two Islanders named to Order of Canada". Times-Colonist. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Bronfman Collection Bio". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  5. ^ a b "Garden article in American Style Magazine, Issue 67, June 2009". Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  6. ^ Contemporary Ceramics in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  7. ^ "Saidye Bronfman Award". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  8. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Order of Canada's newest appointees include Paralympian, Supreme Court judge and astrophysicist" Archived 2019-02-13 at the Wayback Machine. CBC News, December 30, 2016.
  10. ^ "Garden Description with photos and publication bibliography". Archived from the original on 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  11. ^ "Video Availability List". Archived from the original on 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2013-03-31.

External links[edit]