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Friday, 26 October 2012

4. VALLAURIS

In an article published in Le Musée Universel, in 1873, Paul Parfait remarked that whereas, at the time of the French Revolution (1789) there were only four or five ceramic factories in Vallauris, by 1873 the number had risen to about fifty; following the arrival of the railways.
Production consisted of earthenware cooking pots and lasted till the 1920s and 30s, when cheaper and stronger 'faiences' from northern factories (Digoin, Sarreguemines, etc.) replaced Vallauris' 'terres vernissées'.
At that crucial point Vallauris had to reinvent itself or die.

This section/chapter examines the period following World War II, when, in response to the economic challenge, the small town reinvented itself as a world centre for the production of 'Art Ceramics'. 


COPC.



Terres et flammes - Vallauris vue par André Verdet (Part 1 & 2)

This film provides some useful (if highly romanticised) documentary images about Vallauris, but tends to focus on Picasso at the expense of the creative input of those unsung workers: throwers, decorators, handle makers ('hansistes'), those who stacked and fired the kilns; but also those who dug up the clay and prepared it; ready to be used by potters, etc. all those who made Vallauris what it was; contributing their skills, knowledge and creative imagination to its greatness, alongside the super stars upon whom writers tend to focus our attention on.
This section of the blog aims to celebrate the contributions of these unsung heroes.

PART ONE




PART TWO





1945-: VALLAURIS: A POP REVOLUTION:

From Tradition to Experimentation

By the 1940s, inexpensive and stronger 'faiences' mass-produced in the northern factories (Digoin, Sarreguemines, etc.) had replaced the traditional rustic (heavy and brittle) 'terres vernissées', that had made Vallauris famous.  
Facing the inevitable, the few surviving potters of Vallauris realized that they had to diversify their production and switch from the manufacture of cooking pots:










to the production of decorative wares, if they were to save their industry. 



ON THE WAY TO MODERNITY: 

The examples below show that the first phase (40s-1955), during which Vallauris potters switched from the production of culinary pots to making decorative wares, did not immediately lead to experimentation, but to the production of a range of 'terres vernissées' that could still be used in the home: fruit bowls, jugs, vases, etc. and for decorative purposes as well. 

The Revival started with the Revival of 'Terres Vernissées'. 

During that period, 'Terre Vernissées[low fired earthenware pots decorated with a green, yellow or blue glaze, produced all around the Mediterranean] were produced, among others, in Vallauris, by Jean Calvas: 




The treatment of the handles (originally used to tie a rope or a leather strap to hang the pot) shows an attempt to update traditional forms by adding a note of urban design (Art Déco)

and, throughout the 50s, by F.P.P., (the firm Calvas created in partnership with Jean Rossignol), till the pottery closed in 1967.

Together, they kept the Provençal tradition of 'terres vernissées' alive, making articles that could be used in the home, and satisfy at the same time a nostalgic taste for a vanished rural way of life [the French equivalent of slipware for Cardew and the British revivalists] ; which had, and still has, to a lesser extent, some appeal for the French imagination: 







Hand-thrown, with their traditional twisted handles, these pots retain an integrity which stands out among the works of other manufacturers, who started using the forms of cooking pots to produce ash-trays, 'vide-poches' and other tourist trinkets.

In 1950, C. Barnoin maker of cooking pots since 1940 formed a partnership with Béretta (who had opened a studio in 1945), which lasted till 1958. From then on; Béretta went on producing decorative pieces only till he closed his workshop, in 1972.

The firm Foucard-Jourdan* also produced domestic pots in 'terres vernissés', using traditional designs and techniques, decorating them in the traditional green and yellow glazes. 

The vase below incorporates several traditional features — hand-throwing, re-shaping, and 'pinching' (to produce 'colerettes', which were added to the body) — which,  through their skillful economy of means confer upon these items the artistic integrity of genuinely traditional pots:


In the workshops where these items were made, a degree of specialisation had evolved over the centuries. 

The thrower:



was not the same person who made and fitted the handles, the 'hansiste':



The different tasks were carried out by different individuals, who had acquired specialist skills and knowledge.
The same applied to decorating, glazing, stacking up the kiln and supervising the firing. 

This level of specialization had enabled some workshops (in Vallauris and at Pichon, in Uzès) to reinvent the form of the fruit bowl (in French: fruit basket: 'corbeille de fruits') in spectacular, virtuoso ways, which stretched the capacity of clay and skills of the modeller (in effect the handle maker) to her limits:




MODES OF PRODUCTION

Postcards from Vallauris show that the serial production of domestic and decorative items was carried out in workshops using traditional skills and modes of production.
By contrast the preparation of the clay and glazes used industrial modes and techniques of production; as can be seen in André Verdier's film.
The photograph below is quite typical and not disssimilar to that of other workshops, including that of the Bauhaus in Dornburg.
Atelier Saltalamacchia 



AN 'ACCIDENTAL MASTERPIECE'?


Sometimes during the late 40s, at his 'Gaby-Ceram' atelier, Joseph Saltalamacchia (whose parents had come to Vallauris, from southern Italy, in 1888), attempted to create a 'modern' vase with the materials and techniques of tradition. The result is a singular vase*; in which bold painted lines and flat planes emphasize the polyhedric structure of the vase, which has been decorated with deeply sgraffitoed stars and areas of muted color (using traditional glazes and mode of application with a sponge:
Joseph Saltalamacchia, Vase (late 40s). Earthenware. Decorated with sgraffito and hand-painted geometric motifs.
The raw quality of this eccentric vase — so unlike any others made in Vallauris or anywhere else — represents an original but isolated attempt to evolve a modern form, in a traditional workshop (see picture above) with the material and techniques of traditional country pottery
Its singularity among the other works produced by Saltalamacchia suggests that it may have been a one off experiment and not met with the commercial success hoped for, and that the idea was dropped, in favour of a more folkloristic style. 

In more than one sense the vase presents the charateristics of a 'pièce unique'; for it is also a visual 'idiolect': isolated in its absolute singuarity; in the production of this potter, and of Vallauris as a whole. 

'Pièce unique' was the label attached to one-off pieces produced by the more ambitious potters, to distinguish their work from their commercial range, and to satisfy the desire of more discriminating customers to acquire individual, signed pieces:







In 1946 Sauveur Lunetta had opened his pottery, to make 'terres vernissées' in the Provençal style. In response to public demand for more contemporary designs, however, he adapted traditional objects, like this pitcher: hand-thrown, then cut, shaped and decorated with a black lustre glaze; producing a modern interpretation of tradition of some integrity:





Compare with Picault's picher (below)

The firm Granjean-Jourdan  resulting from the association of two potting families (1950s-1981) — introduced the new popular decor of 'Faux bois', which proved a huge commercial success; and had to be patented to stop being copied:




The work that Saltalamacchia and his staff made at the Aegitna family workshops (1920-), remained essentially traditonnal and commercial. Over the years they employed a number of artists, modellers and decorators.

This 'vide poche'* in the shape of an oyster is an early example of novelty the firm produced for the tourist market:




Hand-modelled, and decorated in the traditional honey and green glazes, it has integrity, and stands in a long tradition of ceramics reproducing shells and other natural objects (rocks, pebbles, etc.).

[see plate by Guillot]

Subsequently, Saltalamacchia transposed the obsolete traditional forms of Provençal cooking pots and soup terrines into sugar bowls: 

  



sweet bowls and other items; which had the look but no longer the functionality of the pots they imitated:


Later, he added bright 'lava' effects, to keep up with public demand for more showy effects:


Earlier pieces were better made, and successfully conveyed a sense of tradition. Like much of the Vallauris production, however, quality dropped as intensified mechanisation, over-production and commercialism over-rode artistic ambition.

Fazio decorated miniature versions of traditional cooking pots with colorful geometric designs in a way not dissimilar to the decorative style of Robert Picault; thus adding to the list of 'bibelots':


The similarity between works from different workshops and factories shows that popular trends were copied quite unashamedly. The same also happened with glazes.


I have given these examples as illustrations of the transition, in Vallauris, from the production of traditional utilitarian forms to their adaptation (in some cases, 'kitschification'?) as giftware and souvenirs for the tourist market.



NEWCOMERS

From the late 40s, an influx of potters from different parts of the country went to Vallauris, drawn by the attractive conditions of a small, old, picturesque, pottery town in the South of France: availability of material, qualified work force, workshops, quality of life, and a lower cost of living. 
This, combined with Picasso's regular visits, from 1946 — to experiment with painted, sculptural ceramics at Suzanne Ramié's Atelier Madoura — marked the beginning of a renaissance of Vallauris: as a centre for the production of decorative ceramics, and as a popular tourist destination. 
By the 1950s, a new wave of artist-potters was giving Vallauris a second wind.


I. EVERYDAY OBJECTS WITH SOME ARTISTIC AMBITION

Higher on the aesthetic ladder, this bowl by Jean Rivier et Suzanne Derel, shows a culinary form, which has not been literally copied but adapted; redesigned and decorated with a contemporary motif, inspired by a fine art sensibility




We must remember, however, that potters in Vallauris catered, in the main, for a popular tourist market and only, to a much lesser extent, for a discriminating public of art-minded collectors. 
What is interesting, however is how artistically ambitious works were produced both in artist potters studios as well as in workshops and factories, at affordable prices.


ROBERT PICAULT (1919-2000)

WORKING FOR THE TOURIST MARKET, WITH SOME ARTISTIC AMBITIONS, Robert Picault also drew from the tradition of culinary pots — to capitalise on the rural heritage of Vallauris, Provence and the vanishing rural life, which appealed to the French imagination — to produce MODERN, affordable, decorative ceramics: from 'vide-poches' and ash-trays to vases, jugs, bowls, plates, chargers, etc. 

Modern, in his case, meant simplifying the form (but not always) and adding  simple, lively, sgraffitoed and hand-painted geometric motifs  in manganese green on white slip, under a clear glaze (inspired by medieval islamic pottery) — which became his trade-mark.

In his early individual studio pieces (signed 'Picault'), decorated in thick black lustre glazes, Picault had experimented with form; challenging traditional formats and stretching form beyond functionality; as in this pitcher*, whose originality comes from a radical reversal in size between enormous neck and tiny body:

Robert Picault. Jug.c. 1950s. Hand-thrown and shaped earthenware, decorated in black lustre glaze. H.: c. 15 cm.

Compare this pitcher with the Halle vase designed by Marguerite Friedlaender-Vildehain, in 1931 (Post 6: GERMANY) and with the green earthenware by Foucar-Jourdan (above).

In his workshop, alongside  pots and pans, which were mostly hand-thrown (to satisfy customer's demand for 'hand-made' products), and signed 'R.P.' [in dark green, and light green after he retired] the salad bowl (below) was, perhaps, the easier functional object to transform into a decorative item, and retain its artistic integritymore so than the 'poëlons' (shallow handled cooking pots) reproduced in reduced size  to be hung on walls, or used to serve peanuts at the 'apéritif', which he produced in vast quantities, like many of his contemporaries.

Since the adaptation of these once-functional objects made them virtually useless, it is interesting to note that people who bought or received them as presents found ways of re-injecting some functionality into them.

This salad bowl*, for instance, was used as a planter by its last owner:



The fact that the thick incrustation of lime (left by years of standing and watering flower pots) could be descaled is a tribute to the quality of the glaze!


II. ARTISTS-DECORATED CERAMICS 

At a higher artistic level, the influence of Picasso and Cocteau manifested itself in hand-thrown pots, decorated with freely painted figurative motifs. These works were produced, in the main, by art-school-trained artists who came to Vallauris to reinvent themselves as potters: André Baud, Roger Capron, Juliette Derel, Jean Derval, Jacques Innocenti, Jean-Claude Malarmey, Robert Perot, Gilbert Portanier, Suzanne Douli-Ramié, Francois Raty, etc.

Samples of their work can be seen in Anne Lajoix, L'Âge d'Or de Vallauris (1995).

Below are two examples sold on ebay in 2012, signed 'Courtade, 
Vallauris'; decorated in the neo-classical revival style inspired by Picasso and Cocteau and ancient Greek vase painting.
Intriguingly this potter is not listed in Jean-Claude Martin's key reference text nor in Anne Lajoix's book.

Marques et Signatures de la céramique d'Art de la Côte d'Azur, Sudarènes, 2009:

Pierre Courtade (1915-1963). Chargers. Hand-thrown and painted earthenware. 1950s-60s. Ø: 28 and 31 cm


Note the contrast between the Mediterranean 'joie de vivre' expressed in these chargers with the austerity of this East German interpretation of a neo-classical theme:





This colorful bowl, dating from  the 1950s, by the Luc studio [set up by Auguste Lucchesi, in 1951, [later continued by his nephew Gérard Damiano, who took over in 1961)], is emblematic of Vallauris pottery: in its sculptural form and in its stylised figurative motif of the sun:



The attribution to Luc is based on the same sun motif used on an orangeade set carrying the Luc paper label.


The sun motif, modeled in low relief, on this neo-Baroque Cocteauesque water jug, bears a painted monogram which remains to be identified:



III. EXPERIMENTATION WITH GLAZES: 'ÉCUME DE MER', etc.

THE THIRD SIGNIFICANT STRAND OF VALLAURIS CERAMICS involved the creation of spectacular, colorful, textured glazes — the most famous being 'écume de mer', for its analogy with the salty froth formed by the blue waves as they break onto the sand:


Vallauris, unknown workshop, Écume de mer' glaze on conventional slip cast urn-shaped vase. 



These  glazes were undiscriminately applied to conventional forms (in the above example: a classical urn), and to modern 'forme libres' (free forms) ones, including the radically post-modern, 'deconstructed' formswhich reinterpreted the vase as sculpture.

The following slip cast Vase*, made by an unidentified workshop or factory, was produced in different sizes, form variations, colors and glazes:

Vase. c. 1960. Slip cast earthenware. Free form decorated with 'Écume de mer' glaze,

The original paper label found on one of them reads 'Céramique d'Art. VALLAURIS', without identifying the name of the workshop. It also occurs on a double candle holder decorated with a pink lava glaze. 

'Made in Vallauris' seems to have acted as a collective 'appelation controlée'; and was also accompanied by the stamped or engraved mention 'fait fait' or 'décoré main' (hand made and hand decorated), which seemed to have mattered more than the name.

The following vase bears the hand engraved signature 'Luc' (for 'Lucchesi), + a number (series number?) as well as 'VALLAURIS' on its base; and may also have carried a paper label:



Experimentations with glazes produced a wide variety of effects; which, in retrospect, recall the 'tachiste' and abstract expressionist experiments in painting:







Vase. c. 1950. Slip cast earthenware, decorated with applied glaze patches on a matt black glaze.* 


THE SURVIVAL OF 'TERRES VERNISSÉES

The yellow and green glazes of 'terre vernissées', increasingly replaced by more 'showy' and colorful glazes or painted decoration, continued to be produced for 'jarres' and for other ornamental garden vases.

In the nearby town of BIOT, however, a town famous for its large jarres, which, in past centuries, were exported throughout the Mediterranean, the tradition is kept alive by 'La Poterie Provençale', set up in 1935 by René Augé-Laribé: for the production of garden pots and for vases. The pottery is now listed as 'patrimoine regional'.

The small vase below (23 cm) reproduces the shape of the much larger 'jarres' once used to store water or to decorate gardens:



The example below shows the transformation of a functional vessel, once used to hold water, into a purely decorative item. Although the piece was hand-thrown, it emphasises form rather than the traces of its own making. The uniform yellow glaze did not encourage 'accidents'. What the photo does not show is the heavy weight of the pot (perhaps to give it stability and gravitas, or to stop it been blown over by the wind, if left outside, on a garden table or wall?) and the minute opening at the top; which is too small to receive more than one flower, and too small to be cleaned on the inside, and, therefore preempts its use as a 'caraffe'. The form of the the vase suggests that it may have been reduced to a symbolic function?




KITSCHIFICATION OF TRADITIONAL FORMS
The example below shows the addition of populist forms of decoration on the same traditional green vase by Foucard-Jourdan illustrated above, with its original Procvençal green glaze. 
The addition of sgraffitoed flowers, highlighted in red and mauve and black, for contrast; may have been inspired by the popular style popularised by Cérart (1934-?) and Cérdazur (c.1945-1960) in Monaco:









This evolution of taste from simplicity (Foucard-Jourdan, vase 1) towards over-decoration (Foucard-Jourdan, vase 2) continued, in parallel with experiments with glazes, and provided the staple stock of souvenir shops.



NOTE ABOUT COLLECTING: Today, the challenge, for the would-be collector, is — among the mass of tourist 'tat' that was produced in Vallauris — to find a piece with some integrity: whose materiality exudes quality, even if the vase was mass-produced. 
A vase* decorated in 'écume de mer' glaze, as this humble vase, below, probably by Fady, could be a good starting point:

           

Compare with the vase below, which still carried its original paper label which identifies the maker: Fady.





The glaze on the vase below is very similar to that on the two vases (above) above. 
It is hand-thrown, however, and the hand-thrown marks, particularly visible on the inside, complement the fluid flow of the glaze;which flows less predictably not from the rim down, but is concentrated and more suggestively around its 'waist'… 
This is the vernacular  'écume de mer' Vallauris at its best; combining the organic quality of the hand-thrown form with the spontaneous flow of the lava-type glaze. The lack of a signature should not deter one from appreciating its quality. It carries the stamped inscription 'Tourné et décoré main' (hand thrown and hand decorated`), however; two primary qualities that should be seeked for by the discriminating collector.

An other productive approach towards collecting Vallauris involves looking for pieces by a named studio, that deviate from the standard machine-made Vallauris clichés which flooded the tourist market. 

Hand-thrown items tend to have a quality that distinguishes them, aesthetically, from those pot boilers. But there are exceptions. 
Looking for an interesting shape and/or glaze, is a good starting point; and a good alternative to buying standard, mass produced commercial item by Roger Capron, whose standard commercial wares have become the subject of intense, mislead (and misleading) speculation.

The vase below, made at the 'Jérome Massier' workshop, in 1968 or 1969, during the period Alain Maunier (grand son of of Jérome Massier Jr), managed the firm (1960-1990), was bought by a Belgian holiday-maker, for his living room, directly from the Massier shop, in the Summer of 1969. It seems, however, that the glaze was developed during the 50s, under the management of the workshop by Jean Clergue:


Jérôme Massier studio. Hand build stoneware vase (c.1969), decorated in bright yellow on matt white on grey glaze (wax process). H.: 42cm.
This type of vase and its glaze are part of a series or range developed at the J. Massier 'factory' during the period Jean Clergue managed it. The artists responsible are not known. The series and its characteristic glaze continued to be produced during Alain Maunier's management of the firm, from 1953 to, at least, 1969, when this vase was bought.


Vases of more conventional designs were also produced at the Massier workshop , as well as ashtrays, bowls, candlesticks, lamp bases, etc.; showing the readiness of the firm — like many others — to extend and diversify its range in order to satisfy both artistic and more conventional tastes.

The most common vases 'made in Vallauris' were slip cast in white clay, and decorated with splashes of bright color over-layered in streaks of colors, running over brown and under a shiny transparent glaze which gave them a brash glossy look ('tape à l'oeil'). They represent the Vallauris ceramic cliché at its worst, and can now be found by the thousands at car boot sales and in second-hand shops.

The formulaic shapes and glazes are not without decorative value, but can in no way compete with works which acknowledged the visual arts as sources of inspiration and had some genuine artistic ambitions. 

The impact of fine art on popular ceramics can be appreciated in some of the vases produced by Panassidi, in which a splash of bright color — Miro-like — tears through a field of white 'écume' over a matt black ground:


Note how (as in the blue Luc vase above) the handles have been organically absorbed into the body of the vase; almost to the point of disappearance.



One firm, not listed in any books or web sites about Vallauris ceramics, produced some extraordinary vases which, like many other workshops and factories, only signed their wares 'Vallauris':




Unknown workshop or factory. Five vases. Slipcast earthenware. 1960s.

These vases (above) redefine the vase as sculpture; and were decorated with a range of experimental glazes which recall abstract painting. 

The more artistically ambitious vases have fractal furrows carved into their body, and a thick 'écume de mer' glaze running into them over a dark blue glazes which provide a unifying touch, like a primer, evocative of the sea:




The vase (above right) is covered with irregular raised 'scales' which have been splashed with red, green, yellow, over the deep shiny blue glaze; conferring upon it a wild painterly look.





(…)





http://www.labergerie-vallauris.com/blog/photos-cat-141085-1948363517-c_o_p_c_.html


Louis Giraud (1896-1985) occupies a special place in the development of Vallauris. His 'Poterie d'Art Giraud', on the prominent Avenue Clémenceau, brought a modern touch to Vallauris ceramics. A black vase fom the 1940s combines the quality of 'taille directe' tribal and modernist sculptures with a note of Art Deco.

Giraud's work is characterised by a sculptural quality and by an experimentation with thick lava-type glazes.
The volcanic glaze on the vase below recalls the incrustations left by mollusks on seaside rocks:






A mixed technique (hand throwing, slab building, and reshaping the clay) used to produce the 'forme libre' vase below was probably the work of Alexander Kostanda (1921-2007) [who was apprenticed there between 1936 and 1938], when he was 'chef d'atelier at Giraud's, from 1949 to 1953:




Here is a small pitcher, which reproduces the same materiality and design quality on a small scale:


Comparison with a group of pitchers made by Kostanda after he set up his own studio, in 1953, leaves little doubt:

add picture

Kostanda is credited with introducing stoneware to Vallauris

The vase below uses the materiality of mixed clays coated with a clear non-glossy glaze to produce a decorative effect:

Here, by contrast, Cubist-inspired abstract motifs act as decoration:



It is important to note that alongside  works of artistic integrity, Kostanda also produced more accessible, popular vases decorated with flowers and a range of domestic wares ranging from undecorated stoneware, to stonewares decorated with playful figurative motifs, as on this mug: 





(to be continued...)

18 comments:

  1. wow. I like the way you choose things. It's refreshing and you have a special eye. you are making me see things differently. thanks! Helen

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am delighted that you find the approach inspiring.
    In the course of this project, the direct experience of collecting (without initial preconceptions) enabled me — through chance encounters on ebay — to discover (for myself) and bring together objects which are collected and appreciated by different interest groups (Vallauris, Fat Lava, West German Ceramics, Studio ceramics, etc.) into a expanded ceramic field.
    This project aims ultimately to facilitate direct engagement with the works — with the 'materiality' of the works — avoiding the conditioning imposed by conventional academic views and hierarchies about ceramics.
    Ceramic history/ies needs to be re-written; not to legitimate such hierarchies, but to open alternative perspectives and let them proliferate…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Gerard I may have something that will interest you.. I have a Vase and small jug both looking very similar to your unnamed pieces. I'm sure its by the same potter/designer.. The jug is stamped vallauris while the vase is engraved Vallauris and engraved D. Main.. I have spent days trying to work out whether this was a signature but thanks to you i have found that it means hand made and hand painted.. Unlike your vases/jugs, mine are that of a matt finish and are very much like a few of your pieces, sculpture and that looking of the nouveau period!.. Is their a way of getting photos to you for you to have a look? Kindest regards Nathan

      Delete
  3. Dear Gerard. I was delighted to find your blog when I was looking for information about a pottery vase inscribed Maunier Vallauris on the base. I bought the vase for $5 in a second hand shop in New Zealand where I live. I think it is beautiful and it "looks?" to me like something from the 1950's or early 60's. It is 13cm high by about 8.5 wide and is hand decorated in what looks a little like onion rings around the widest part of the bowl. It is a glossy light brown mustard colour. I wish I could send you a photo of the item to see if you could tell me any more about this sort of work. I have just noticed that although the top part of the vase is smooth the onion rings part is raised and uneven yet it does not look like that to the eye.
    kind regards. Chris

    ReplyDelete
  4. hello Chris,
    Do send me some pictures at
    gerardmermoz@hotmail.com
    I wonder what the history of the vase's journey is. I am always interested in this side of objects.
    Look forward to seeing your pictures.
    Regards
    Gérard

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  5. I have two pieces stamped vallauris underneath. one is a small vase and the other is a small basket with handle. they both have a similar design of large flowers etched in gold.these have been in the family since the forties or earlier im not sure. I have not seen anything similar to these and would be grateful for any information thanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. email me some pictures so that I mayI see if I can help.
    gerardmermoz@hotmail.com
    best
    Gérard

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there

    I have a beautiful lava glaze type vase about 12 inches high with the two lopsided handles, my family have had for some 30 or so years, collected along the way. Don't know any more than the fact that VALLAURIS FRANCE is scrapped into the base at creation. Will try to send you an email

    thank you

    Marnie


    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. Thanks. You may like the blog of the exhibition I curated at the national archive for British ceralics, at Aberystwyth, for the ceramics biennale.. The catalogue is free, on line at http://keramicconversations.blogspot.co.uk/
      Enjoy.
      Gérard

      Delete
  9. Hello - have found this so interesting as I am attempting to research a bowl which is marked underneath Massier Vallauris. My bowl looks nothing like ones featured on here, it has palm trees and creatures on it, is so colourful and just so puzzling. Item is in rural France and was purchased there. It is truely a lovely looking item, would just love to know more about it. Not sure if I am too late with this post now, but thanks anyhow :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. so interesting! I'd never heard if this studio until I found a vase today {I shall email you a photo}

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi I have a vallauris sweet bowl on the bottom and inside the top there is #12 on the bottom of the bowl it has Nina Vallauris. Can you tell me more about it and it's possible value? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. do send me some pictures of the bowl and the bottom and the signature.
      ;-) and I can tell you if it rings a b ell...

      Delete
  12. Hi I have just been given some beautiful plates stamped Giraud Vallauris France - I was going to use them for plant pot stands but reading this blog I am wondering if I should treat them with a little more respect ? if i post a photo would you be able to tell me more please

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    Replies
    1. Giraud was an important figure in Vallauris, but like everyone else (perhaps less), he produced things that fit within the category tourist tat.

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  13. Are any Vallauris stoneware dishes unsigned? My mother gave me a set of dishes she bought in Europe that look very much like a French Vallauris pitcher/plate with bright red glaze a tiny bit of black dotting that I've seen online, but my dishware is unsigned/unmarked.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Send me some pictures of top and bottom and I may be able to help.
    Good works tend to be marked, especially hand thrown stoneware.

    ReplyDelete