Tag Archives: Paris

Zsolnay Pottery


The iconic Hungarian art pottery of Zsolnay :

Zsolnay Vase and EwerFor 158 years, the iconic Hungarian company of Zsolnay has been producing innovative  and high quality ceramic wares. What started as a small family ceramics workshop in Pécs in 1853  had grown into a modern factory by the 1880’s, thanks to Vilmos Zsolnay’s long decades of painstaking and dedicated experimentation. Founding father  Miklós Zsolnay originally established the first manufacturing shop of ceramics for his son Ignác. In 1863 the younger son Vilmos took control and expanded into a factory production.


The Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory


The factory’s first major success was reached at the 1873 World Exhibition in Vienna. On the basis of its product displays, the factory received a great number of orders from England, France, Russia, and even from America. By the 1870’s the  the Zsolnay family rapidly became well-known and highly appreciated in Europe, and the business employed 20 workers.

The family were perceptive and their experimental nature in historical and Art Nouveau styles made the Zsolnay ceramics successful at many fairs and exhibitions (Vienna, Paris, London, Milan, Torino, California US). The success achieved during the 1878 World Exhibition in Paris was tremendous. The jury praised the Zsolnay collection as being unique and gave it the gold medal, the so-called Grand Prix. Numerous buildings belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were also decorated with Zsolnay tiles. Prior to the 1890s, the company produced ornate pieces inspired by Islamic pierced wares and traditional Hungarian wares. It was not until 1893, when Vilmós appointed the chemist Vincse Wartha as artistic director, that Zsolnay began to specialize in Art Nouveau-inspired ceramics with crystalline metallic glazes.

Zsolnay fountain in Pecs with sculptured heads

Zsolnay fountain in Pecs


The most famous invention of the factory was the creation of ‘eosin”, a metallic shiny glaze on ceramics. . Their technique of firing glazes at high temperatures remains unique even today.

The Zsolnay production suffered many hardships during the 2 World Wars from problems sourcing materials to having to abandon artistic production for the creation of electrical insulators and the like. Along with  being bombed in the WW2. The incoming Communist Regime , although recognizing it as a National  Treasure , were very restrictive to overseas markets.

After Vilmos Zsolnay’s death, in 1900, his son Miklós took over the management and at the end of 1991 the  factory was upgraded . In 1995 the business was privatised  and the main owner was the Hungarian Investment and Development Bank (MBFB) . The new owner  set a goal of  preserving  the historically significant, long tradition of  Zsolnay and making a profitable plant without changing the product structure.

Zsonlay pottery showroomZsolnay Showroom

The Zsolnay factory today still pursues innovative design and permits designers to conceive beautiful pieces that explore modern expression and utilize their earlier technical and stylistic achievements with organic shapes and metallic glazes. It  has also revitalized  the company’s tradition of creating  architectural ceramics with the production of vividly colored weather-resistant tiles and ornamentation, from statues to decorative clocks , examples of which can still been seen on buildings throughout Hungary.




Zsolnay vase with red tree motifZsolnay Vase



Zsolnay ceramic vase with botanical motifs and ed butterfly motif on a black background

Hand painted Zsolnay vase with botanical decoration



Rich red glaze vase by Zsolnay

Vase Zsolnay Museum



Art Nouveau Figural Compote ZsolnayClassic Zsolnay Art Nouveau Figural Compote.

( John & Rico’s Zsolnay Store )



Zsolnay Orchid Tea Set

 The Viennese Rothschilds  commissioned the company to make a tea  service and  sent an illustrated book on orchids  for the design, which featured a different orchid for every piece in the 24 set.



Zsolnay Vase with eosin metalliic glaze

Zsolnay vase with eosin iridescent glaze



Zsolnay Pottery vase and pitcherZsolnay ( Dr. Gyugyi Collection )



Zsolnay Ceramic Table with geometric botanical patternZsolnay Ceramic Round Table



Mid Century Zsolnay vase

Zsolnay 60’s inspired Vase



Red glaze vessel by Zsolnay

Red Zsolnay Planter



Zsolnay Art Nouveau vase

Art Nouveau vase with pewter



Zsolnay eosin glazed jug

Zsolnay Pitcher 1918 ( John And Rico’s )



Art Nouveau Red Ceramic FireplaceZsolnay Art Nouveau Fireplace



Zsolnay eramic Art Nouveau vase wtih gold snake handleZsolnay Eosin glazed snake vase



Zsolnay Art Nouveau ceramic vase with abstract wrap around handles

Zsolnay multiple handle vase



Zsolnay blue and green Art Nouveau vase with botanical relief decoration

Zsolnay Art Nouveau vase



Zsolnay Antique Art Nouveau ewer

Zsolnay metallic glaze ewer



Zsolnay pottery vessel with butterfly motif

Zsolnay butterfly vessel




Zsolnay tulip sculpture with red flower

Zsolnay red tulip



Art Nouveau red glaze vessel with female figure by Zsolnay

Zsolnay Art Nouveau vessel




Zsolnay cache pot with iridescent glaze

 Zsolnay Art Nouveau cachepot.

John & Rico’s Zsolnay Store



Zsolnay vase with mother and child motif

Zsolnay iridescent glaze vase


Red contemporary abstract sculpture by Zsolnay

‘Thinking’  – Zsolnay contemporary sculpture



Zsolnay red modernist pitcher

Mid Century Zsolnay Pitcher


Zsolnay ceramics vases hunting scenes

Zsolnay ceramics vase with  hunting scenes of Diana the Huntress




Zsolnay Manufactory gardens




Zsolnay Fruit Bowl



GYUGYI-ZSOLNAY- python snake ceramic Zsolnaay sculpture

Zsolnay coiled python sculpture





Zsolnay Table Lamp with Green Taurus Figurine





Zsolnay centrepiece with four female figurine supports





Zsolnay Art Nouveau iridescent glaze vase





Unusual Zsolnay eosin glaze figure sculpture




Art Nouveau mermaid and lover vase – Zsolnay





Turquoise mottled surface vase – Zsolnay





Zsolnay Esoin Three Graces figure vessel

Pinter Auctions



French Raku Studio “la porte du soleil”

Raku tumbler by Philippe Buraud

Philippe Buraud


La porte du soleil – ‘Gate of the Sun’


Situated 37km south of Paris in the region of Essonne in a rural location is a quaint studio that attracts pottery aficionados wanting to explore the applications of Raku Ceramics. The workshops are conducted by Philippe Buraud and Jacqueline Hoerter whose backgrounds were respectively in Photography and Scientific Research before following their desire to create  French Raku pottery.. After 20 years of striving, testing and researching various raku pottery techniques they  now, on a fulltime basis, confidently guide others to achieve fantastic results in the subtle art of Raku. Their influences have ranged from ancient African techniques of pottery from the Kalabougou Malian Association Teria to internships with Brigitte Mororn  Houdebine and Patrick in the Ardeche. The ceramic styles they pursue are Raku, firing in saggers, raku naked, cooking with wood and  terra sigillata. Judging by the results , they have an intrinsic flair for inspiration and creativity and guiding others to find these attributes.

The ancient Japanese practices of Raku are still honored in their courses. For example in the creation of the Japanese tea ceremony bowls ( chawan )  irregular, uneven, flawed, sometimes rough form is encouraged to enhance their organic charm.  In April 2007 The Association The Gate of the Sun ( la porte du solei )was created as it seemed to Phillipe and Jacqueline to  be  the best way to naturally discover and share their passion and to encourage meetings and enthusiastic discussions . They regularly conduct 4 day workshops ( 2  weekends ) during the Spring and Summer.

Chawan Raku - la porte du soleil workshop

Raku chawan

A distinction between the Raku techniques covered in the course are : Unlike a conventional ceramic cooking, which includes a slow rise and fall in temperature in the kiln, a raku firing is short. The room is quickly rising to the temperature of maturation of the enamel (typically 900 to 1050 ° C) and removed  immediately from the oven. The heat shock induces contractions of the various enamels and the earth cracks appear in the glaze of  the piece, which is then  immersed in a container of organic matter to undergoe a post reduction. The lack of oxygen changes the color of the enamel, resulting in iridescent metallic oxides, and the carbon released from burning organic matter enters the cracks of the enamel and draws subtle black networks.

The Naked Raku is a variant of the previous technique. The room gets a polished layer of glaze that does not adhere to the shard, then a layer of enamel. This separates the ceramic enamel after the reduction, leaving an image on the part of its cracks.

The terra sigillata : The land polished sigillated and smoky are techniques that come from the depths of time and numerous fragments have been found in archaeological searches, and with Greek, Roman and Mayan pottery decor with their red and black surface slips ranging from a soft lustre to a brilliant glaze-like shine. These techniques survive in all current commercial productions from Africa, Latin America and Asia. It is an unglazed pottery bearing the traces of iron and fire.


 la porte du soleil workshop - Phillipe - French raku potter on the pottery wheel

Philippe Buraud on the wheel



Creating Raku at la porte du soleil - Essonne, FranceLa porte du soleil workshop



Raku production at la porte du soleil, Provence of Ile de France, Paris region

Raku firing – la porte du soleil


raku firing la porte du soleil workshop

La porte du soleil Raku workshop



removing raku pottery from kiln with tongs

Raku pottery kiln



raku pottery la porte du soleil

Raku reduction



Fired Raku - la porte du soleil at Provence of Ile de France, Paris region

Fired raku pottery – La porte du soleil



Raku Flambe

Raku creation – la porte du soleil, Paris region



Cleaning raku fired ceramic - la porte du soleil workshopCleaning Raku pottery



Smoking Raku pottery la porte du soleilRaku pottery



Lunch in the Provence of Ile de France at the la porte du soleil

La porte du soleil raku workshop lunch break



Philippe Buraud raku vessel

Philippe Buraud


Philippe Buraud raku vase

Philippe Buraud



Raku Vase by Philippe Buraud

Philippe Buraud



Philippe Buraud


Philippe-Buraud raku vessel

Philippe Buraud


French Pottery Class 2010 la porte du soleil - Provence of Ile de France Provence of Ile de France

 La porte du soleil Raku pottery workshop 2010



Raku emerald bowl by Philippe Buraud

Philippe Buraud raku vessel




Blue raku bust



Penguin-raku - Sun gate workshop, France

Raku ceramic penguin




Philippe Buraud




 La porte du soleil raku



Raku la-pièce-collective-from La porte du soleil

Abstract raku la pièce collective



French-Raku-vases -Philippe Buraud

Contemporary raku vases by Philippe Buraud



French-Raku vase La porte du soleil

Raku vase



Smoking-Raku-mask at La porte du soleil

Raku mask emerging from smoke



Raku-modernist-bust La porte du soleil

Modernist raku bust



Philippe-Buraud-French-Raku vessel

Philippe Buraud raku vessel



Philippe-Buraud-lidded raku bottle

Philippe Buraud raku lidded bottle




La porte du soleil ( Gate of the Sun) at Provence of  Ile de France, Paris region, Essonne



la-porte-du-soleil doorknocker

more info on la porte du soleil raku pottery

email –  contact@laportedusoleil