Today I thought I’d bring across a set of works by French ceramic artist Jean Girel, he’s a real talent and definitely deserves to be showcased. This specific set of imagery was picked up from his recent exhibition at Maison Gerard, who always do a fantastic job at photographing the objects that they have on display. Unfortunately I caught this one a tad bit late and the exhibition was only on for a month long period, finishing May 24th, so it’s a shame we can’t go and visit this ourselves, hopefully you get the gist of what it’s all about though.
Jean Girel was born in Savoy in 1947 and as a 14 year-old boy learnt pottery from a traditional potter in his local area. He originally became an artist and a teacher of visual arts after studying a degree in Paris, but in 1975 he decided to work full time on ceramics. This has obviously paid off with his collections being heavily collected by individuals and also he’s held in many modern art museum in both France and worldwide. You can see why in this photography above and below, the precision and accuracy he has is pretty mind blowing.
Obviously for this post I did some research on Jean and his background and I came across his personal website which has a great explanation of how his workshop functions from start to finish. For example they crush, ground and sieve the materials into a clay that can be kneaded by hand, throwing it so it’s as close to it’s final shape as possible. He then prepares the glazes paying close attention to the nature of the ingredients, their particle size, their history and how they react in the firing process. Interestingly enough Jean has designed over seventeen kilns which have been built for his personal use, this means he can really control the temperatures and how the glazes react at different heats. Just shows how much of a perfectionist he is.
These specific ceramics blew me away, I usually prefer more minimal items but I love the quirky animals on top of the pots, they’re really playful and add a whole new dimension to these pieces. Also I find the glazes quite fantastic, it’s amazing how the cracking occurs and how all the little flecks appear, each one has it’s own artistic flavour. For more photos and information I’d urge you to both of the links below, they’ve got an abundance of text on Jean Girel and his works.