SAVOIR-FAIRE OF

CERAMIC

In the history of craftsmanship, ceramic art preceded glass or metal during the Neolithic period: It was the first “fire art.”  This object crafted from cooked earth is made of various colored clay, ranging from gray to red, according to its composition. Red earth contains iron; white can contain limestone, silica and kaolin in various amounts.

Ceramic is, above all, an encounter with the material, the earth, cooked at a more or less high temperature (800/900°).

In fact, ceramic artisans principally use three creation techniques for clay as a base: porcelain, recognizable, thanks to its transparence and translucency; earthenware, particularly shiny; and sandstone, considered to be the roughest type of soil (seemingly petrified and water-proof).

Regarding the cooking process, these are strong temperatures that elicit, at the heart of the primary material, an irreversible transformation that bestows the ceramic with new properties: solidity and resistance to wear and tear, heat-resistance, insulating properties, etc.

The ceramic artist must master 4 elements: earth, water, air and fire. These give birth to creations.  First comes the selection of their proper enamel lacquers, a distinguishing factor for potters; then he or she buys primary materials: kaolin, quartz, pigments, oxides … resulting in the creation of a range of colors according to the cooking process: oxidation or reduction. He or she prepares the earth, lava, knead, and seeks foreign objects before starting to mold (shaping, turning, cooling). Then comes dying and cooking (electric or gas oven or wood or raku) which enables the vitrification of the clay and the color to set.

Here you have a daily object, a subject of study or exposition piece, like Grégoire Scalabre brought it to light, ceramic remains a source of endless inspiration.