Clayart bliss at Vallauris

 

Vallauris ceramics invariably have a distinctive look, whether it be the the iridescent Art Nouveau wares from Massier, the vivacious, colourful, highly textured glazes or the expressive mid-century, modernist hand painted pieces that typically characterise the region’s pottery.  The adventurous glazes of Vallauris were applied to both conventional forms and the more radical sculptural designs.

GILBERT VALENTIN Ceramic pitcher

 Gilbert Valentin – matt black glaze  with red enamel pitcher

( Rago )

 

Evolution of Vallauris pottery 

 

Located in a region in south-eastern France, Vallauris is nestled among low coastal hills and with its rich supply of clay, has been a pottery-making centre since Roman times. Originally the suppliers catered for the local market with culinary and garden wares and some exports. Following the arrival of the railways in 1873, production and distribution opened up and the region soon had around 50 producers.

The Massier family, a dynasty of potters dating back to before the French Revolution played a key role in the expansion of pottery innovation in Vallauris. Clément Massier began working with his father Jaques in 1856. After his father hired Gaetano Gandolfi, an Italian master-potter, Clement began training with him and pioneered several techniques and metallic glazes including their signature iridescent luster glazed pottery. Subsequently, production turned from utilitarian pottery to more individual artistic creations. He was also joined by his brother Delphin and cousin Jérôme, who soon formed the core of the producers at Massier. Jean Gerbino worked in the early twentieth century at Massier and was installed as a craftsman from 1930. Cedric Massier is the latest and sole practitioner of the family art in Vallauris.

Other traditional pottery production companies in Vallauris were Guige, Saltalamacchia, Gaunet Brothers and Foucard-Jourdan who produced domestic pots in ‘terres vernissés’, using traditional designs and techniques.

 

 

 

Clement Massier iridescent green glazed vase

Jerome Massier iridescent glazed vase

( Liveauctioneers )

 

 

 

Clement Massier Art Nouveau vase with raised relief females

Clement Massier Art Nouveau vase

 

 

Delphin-Massier pitcher with female sculpture handle in mainly turquoise

Delphin Massier Vallauris Majolica Pitcher ( 19.5 inches )

 

 

Vallauris post war pottery revival. 

 

In 1938 Suzanne and Georges Ramie founded the pottery workshop Madura in Vallauris. They produced traditional pure forms of the Provence highlighted with enamels. From the late 40’s, an influx of potters from different parts of the country gravitated to Vallauris, drawn by the attractive conditions of a small, old, picturesque, pottery town in the South of France with availability of material, a qualified work force, workshops, quality of life, and a cheaper cost of living.

Picasso arrived at the Madoura studio in 1946 to experiment with painted, sculptural ceramics. Also that year Roger Capron moved to Vallauris, where he founded a ceramics workshop known as ‘l`Atelier Callis’. Along with Picasso he contributed to the renaissance of ceramics in Vallauris. Other famous artists such as Marc Chagall, Edouard Pignon, Anton Prinner, Victor Brauner, also were introduced to ceramics at Vallauris. The location, once  known as the ” city of 100 potters entered  another”golden age” where it flourished again in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The rich artistic fabric was further supported by ceramic artists such as Jean Derval, Roger Collet, Georges Jouve, Charles Voltz, Jacques Blin, Gilbert Portanier , Robert Picault, Marius Bessone, André Baud, Jacques Innocenti, Alexander Kostanda , Albert Thiry and Gilbert Valentin .

 

 

 

ceramic-plate-CLOWN-face motif and hand-painted

Hand painted clown face plate – Vallauris

PICASSO---MADOURA-Charger two hands holding a fish

 Picasso Charger – Madoura

Vallauris had become a centre for the production of decorative ceramics and the influence of Picasso and Jean Cocteau had manifested itself in hand-thrown pots, decorated with freely painted figurative motifs.

In 1952, Roger Capron purchased an abandoned pottery in Vallauris and opened a small ceramics factory, with 15 workers. By 1957 he had established a considerable international reputation. In 1980 his factory employed 120 people and during that same decade he reverted to making one-off pieces which were shown internationally.

The potters in Vallauris catered, in the main, for a popular tourist market and only, to a much lesser extent, for a more discriminating public of art-minded collectors. However artistically ambitious works at affordable prices were produced both in artist potters studios as well as in workshops and factories. Vallauris currentlly has a Kitsch Museum which displays thousands of ceramic items that reflect the creative output from the 50’s to the 70’s where audacious art was made for the tourist market by anonymous ceramicists expressing their flamboyance.. Poodles, cicadas,  domestic or exotic animals and other quirky creations populated  a colourful universe. These were usually released under the ” Made In Vallauris ” label.

 

 

Large_Vallauris_Mosaic_Vase by Jean Gerbrino

Large Vallauris mosaic pattern vase – Jean Gerbrino

(  xupes art and antiques )

 

 

marius-bessone

Marius Bessone lava glaze lamp base

Jean-Cocteau-1889-1963 abstract dish with three head motif

Jean Cocteau  ( 1889-1963 )    Trois faces aux triangles  

Impressionist Modern Art Auction

( Christie’ s )

Jean De Lespinasse black stylized mid century cat motif rectangular dish

Jean De Lespinasse –  mid century cat motif rectangular dish

 

 

 

grandjean-jourdan-0-vallauris-vase-bud-vase-with-2-handles-ceramic

Grandjean Jourdan

 

 

French-Vintage-Vallauris ceramic vase with raised relief wasp motif

French Vintage Vallauris Handpainted 3D Cicada Art Pottery Vase

 

 

 

 

VALLAURIS-ceramic-jug with red glaze and yellow inside

Vallauris ceramic jug

 

 

 

 

Cone-Vase-gerbino-vallauris with mosaic pattern

Jean Gerbino  Vallauris vase

 

 

 

 

Vase Bleu Vallauris stylized jug with blue sea foam glaze

Slip cast earthenware free form vase, decorated with ‘Écume de mer’ glaze ( sea foam ).

Vallauris 1960

 

 

 

Vase-Vallauris wind in hair contemporary bust

Poreclain Vase – Vallauris

 

 

 

Charles-Voltz mid century vase

Charles Voltz  Vallauris vase

 

 

 

Baud-red-modernist-vase

Andre Baud vase

Vallauris. France

 

 

Jean Derval-Vallauris-ceramic vessel with cubist head motif

Jean Derval  – 1925

 ( drouot.com )

 

 

Antique-French-Vallauris-vase with loop handles

Vallauris French antique, loop handled, drip glaze vase.

 

 

 

Chagall-King-David-janekaha

Mark Chagall – King David hand painted plate

( jane kaha )

 

 

Vallauris-vase-with-birds matt glaze

Vase with bird motifs signed Vallauris

 

 

 

VALLAURIS---MARIUS-BESSONE-lava glaze vase

Marius Bessone vase – Vallauris

(  tout vendre.fr )

 

 

 

VALLAURIS-FRANCE-lidded vessel with landscape vista

Vallauris ceramic lidded vessel

 

 

 

Vallauris-French-design-ceramic footed vessel

Vallauris vase designed by Auguste Lucchesi

 

 

decorative-panel-with-a-dragonfly-man-by-roger-capron-on-artnet

Dragonfly man – Roger Capron

 

 

Vallauris-ceramic-vase with parrot on a perch motif

Vallauris vase decorated with parrots

 

 

 

vallauris modernist vessel

Twin handled black  Vallauris vase with white abstract piping

 

 

 

roger-capron flared geometric vase

Roger Capron  geometric modernist vase

 

 

 

 

 rue-centrale-vallauris

Rue Centrale Vallauris

 

 

Jacques-Blin vase with panel motifs

Jacques Blin

 

Polychrome-kitschy-modernist-vallauris-vase

Polychrome kitschy modernist vase signed Vallauris

 

 

 

Petite-Chocolatière-ceramic

Petite Chocolatière – Charles Voltz

Vallauris

 

 

 

vallauris-vase-newdekorart

Vallauris art deco vase

( newdekorart )

 

 

 

le-cavalier-pablo-picasso-1950

‘Le Cavalier’ pitcher – Pablo Picasso

1950

 

Alexandre-Kostada

Alexandre Kostanda

 

 

 

made-in-valauris

Traditional form with drip glaze

 

 

 

KOSTANDA--Vallauris

Alexandre Kostanda

 

 

meditation-par-roger-capron-sur-artnet-raku-1995

‘Meditation’ ceramic bust – Roger Capron

 

 

 

vallauris-pitcher-vase-

 Vallauris Pitcher modern shape

 

 

etendart innocenti

Jaques Innocenti coffee set

475px-633px-FymFT-TfI5-TvhRoT.GivA

Modernist sea foam glaze, free form vase signed Vallauris

( Collectors weekly.com )

 

 

Musee-Jean-Cocteau

Musee Jean Cocteau – Menton, France

 

 

 

Roger-Capron-Vallauris

Roger Capron – Vallauris

 ( Exposition “Biot reçoit Vallauris” )

475px-654px-

 Vallauris lava textured glaze vase

 

 

 

LARGE-FLAT-CERAMIC

Large ceramic modernist platter – Vallauris

Vallauris-GLAZED-CERAMIC-VASE with floral decoration

Floral decorated vase, Vallauris

Faïence-Vase-by-Jacques-Innocenti

Faïence Vase by Jacques Innocenti

Vallauris  1950’s

 

 

Roger Capron Vallauris ceramic bottle

 Roger Capron, Vallauris

 

 

Georges-Jouve, lime green vase

Georges Jouve

 

 

Manuela-CERVANTES abstract vase

Manuela Cervantes abstract vase, Vallauris, France

 

 

 

planter-1900-clement-massier

Clement Massier iridescent glaze planter

 

ψ

 Sources cited – ceramicsconversations.blogspot.com.au

www.vallauris.org/

www.vallauris-golfe-juan.fr

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Posted July 18, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    awesome

  2. Posted November 30, 2013 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    You may like to check my other blog at
    http://ceramicsconversations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/4.html
    for more information, pgotos and archive films about Vallauris ceramics.
    Best
    Gérard

  3. Natasha Lee
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    These were all so unique, I understand what you meant by the Vallauris ceramics having a distinctive look. So highly textured and colorful.

  4. Ana Moreira
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Jacques Innocenti pitcher in auction

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