Tuesday, July 12, 2011

F.P. Victoria + Son Trade Tips: Pichon a Uzes

Above is a short video of Tony discussing Pichon pottery. Pichon à Uzes is a family owned factory founded in 1802 in the town of Uzes. The firm is still in business under Chirstophe Pichon, more information is available here:http://www.ceramique-pichon.com/ . In the video, Tony shares some examples of Pichon’s work from his own private collection as well as 2 pieces from our current inventory (http://www.fpvictoria.com/store/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=pichon&x=0&y=0)

What drew us to this potter was their wonderful mixed earth ceramics and use of color. Similar to the more well-known Apt ware (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O256569/bowl-and-cover/), which is only about 100miles or so from Uzes in the south of France, Pichon combined different types of clay to create a “marbleized” look to the finished piece. Below is an example we owned previously of various cream, brown and red earths from about 1930.

It must be noted that this is fundamentally different from a marbleized or crystallized effect achieved through using different colored glazes. While no less beautiful, in that process colored glazes are applied to an existing, already fired, body of a single earth ceramic – similar to the idea of “painting” on a blank canvas. This is opposed to mixed earth ceramics, like from Pichon and Apt, in which the ceramic itself is made up of different types of earth. When you consider that each of the earths has a unique firing temperature, and the difficulty involved in successfully firing a whole piece, it is remarkable. An easy way to tell whether or not a ceramic is mixed earth is to examine any two sides of one section: if it is mixed earth, the interior and the exterior will both show the different earths, versus only the decorative glazing on the outside.

Pichon à Uzes is truly adept in their use of earths in their ceramics. While some earths, such as greens, whites, browns, and yellows, are more commonly found in mixed earth pottery, Pichon was able add blues and reds. Below is a wonderful example from about 1900.

Here is what we love about Pichon à Uzes:

  • A family owned firm with a long history
  • A less well known firm with remarkable products to discover
  • A technically challenging product to produce that reflects the skill involved in its making.
  • A beautiful result!