2009 - 2012

A new series of work was started in 2009, based on the grotesques theme. Several months’ documentation has led to the writing of a synthesis. The corresponding paper serves as an introduction to a new slideshow of about a hundred and fifty views, itself a support for a new lecture. After having studied and chosen the motifs, new embossing tools were first made, which is always a bit long. All through 2009, new tests were made with so far unused clays. Thank you all for your patience.

The new production is inspired from the ivory- or bone-inlaid ebony furniture, whose white zones were shaded by black cross-hatching so as to render relief. This furniture – mainly middle sized trunk - originated in the Renaissance and was probably contemporary to cabinets. Beautiful examples were created in the 17th century. And 19th century Italy (Giovanni Battista Gatti, for instance) took up both the technique and renaissance inspired decoration (candelabra, peopled scrolls and grotesques) and yielded exceptional furniture sets, especially mirror frames.

16th century Limoges painted enamels on copper by Léonard Limosin, Pierre Reymond, Pierre Courteys, Jean Court and the Pénicaud family offer a comparable relation between light motives upon a black background. The main difference was that the cross-hatching on ivory, coming from the engraving technique, was turned then into a delicate shading effect that brush-strokes with highly diluted oxides onto the patches of white enamel permitted.

Originating in ivory-inlaid ebony or in Limoges painted enamels, 2010’s Miroir aux Prêles decoration has inverted its colours compared to the previous years’ production. The pottery is still holding on the inlay technique, which is becoming its trademark. The inlay is now of porcelain-like stoneware into black or brown clay, instead of black clay in buff stoneware. The kiln is then necessarily fired at a lower temperature (1140°C). The grisaille work is new.

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