Close-up on Jacques Pouchain, Atelier Dieulefit
This month, the spotlight is on mid century French ceramist, Jacques Pouchain (1925-2015).
His pottery could be functional and abstract, figurative and playful – but it was always modern. And so it feels, still, especially pieces from his personal production of the 1960s and 1970s.
This tall vase, with abstract incisions and manganese oxide over milky white enamel, was part of Jacques Pouchain’s personal output, and was made in the early 1960s. You can buy it here.
Jacques Pouchain – the early years
Jacques Pouchain trained as an architect, but the artist in him soon decided otherwise.In his twenties, he studied at the La Grande Chaumière, a well-known Paris art school. (Alumni included Chagall, Foujita, Lempicka and Miró.
Pouchain painted both abstract and landscapes, and went on to exhibit across Europe.
However, it was his vocation for clay that most holds our interest today…
Pouchain at Poet-Laval
Pouchain came from Dieulefit, a quaintly-named* pottery village not far from Montélimar. In the 1950s, he returned home to to learn the potter’s craft at the faiencerie du Poet-Laval. There, he headed up a team of decorators, adding modern shapes and decors to the range, including this natty asymmetric bowl.
Going solo: Atelier Dieulefit
Pouchain set up his own studio in 1958, making functional items enamelled in shades of black and brown, etched with figurative motifs. Alongside these, he made highly personal, one-off pieces – in the shape of animals or people, with joyful echoes of primitive art and fertility about them.
Below are some pieces in private collections to admire and covet: photos sourced from . pinterest, eBay, Oneartyminute.com, 50ceramique.blogspot.
*In French, Dieu le fit means ‘Made by God’.