Collecting ceramics is still a very large and popular endeavor. We have collected some ceramics ourselves through the years, and numerous books have been written on the subject. When it comes to ceramics from France, I like two books in particular since they relate to the era we like. The first is written by Anne Lajoix and titled L’Age d’Or de Vallauris (Published by l’Editions de l’Amateur, Paris 1995/ISBN 2-85917-194-0). The second reference is actually an Exhibition Catalog titled De la Couleur et du Feu, ceramiques d’artistes de 1885 a nos jours. The exhibition was held in the year 2000 at the Musee de la Faience, at the Pastre Chateau, France, and published by the Musees de Marseille, Reunion des Musees Nationaux. We will be discussing this catalog in another post. Both books are on the topic of artist ceramics.
The first mentiioned book is on ceramic works produced in the town of Vallauris in the South of France from about 1930 to 1970. This fabulously printed book is littered with photographs and has a full dictionary of ceramic artists and non-ceramic artists who produced work in Vallauris or had it produced by a master craftsman. One of them was Picasso. The artists Pignon, Picault, Jean Derval (photo below)and Roger Capron all worked and lived there. Shown below is the facade of the maritime station in the near by town of Cannes made by Roger Capron.
The town of Vallauris, a beehive of ceramic activity, (more then 50 potters were working there) became famous after 1958 when a major exhibition was held there for which Picasso designed the the exhibition poster shown at the top of this post. The book covers the entire history of the town and the artists.
One of the artists, Jean Derval had worked for the Editions Madoura where he made the Picasso pieces among other things before setting up his own Atelier.