Maison et Objet, the biannual international design expo in Paris, France, isn’t just centered around furniture and home decor. Accessories, art, jewelry, and gifts are also prominent on the showroom floor. This event is, in fact, one of the best places in the world to see what’s new and what’s upcoming across virtually every realm of the design world.
But for Maison’s Global Trend Ambassador Patti Carpenter and designer and trendspotter Kelli Ellis, there were few areas of the expo as notable as Ceramics. Raw talent was evident from floor to ceiling, with designers showcasing their most pristine custom pieces alongside stunning collections.
The presentations from Bleu d’Argile, Cecile Preziosa, Anne Krieg, Bernex, and Berangere Ceramics each stood out for their unique touches and craftsmanship.
Here’s more on these stellar artists.
Bleu d’Argile’s lovely color palette has captured Carpenter’s attention in years past, but this year, she noted that the outfit incorporated some new colors and mixes to the collection.
Carpenter noted pops of color, particularly lavender against a walnut-hued backdrop that gave a gentle, beautiful, almost edible contrast. “You want to eat them,” she joked.
Texture in the form of splatters is also prominent through Bleu d’Argile’s ceramic selection.
“Each piece produced is entirely hand-made, which gives the creates of the workshop their unique character and incomparable quality.”
Again, color forged Carpenter’s initial attraction to Cecile Preziosa’s stoneware and porcelain designs. Preziosa, a Normandy, France-based ceramist, who received the Discover Award at Maison et Objet 2017, uses German clay and all natural minerals to create these subtly brilliant tones.
The plates, bowls, pitchers, and servingware are all hand thrown on a potter’s wheel, naturally creating a pebbled, speckled texture. Carpenter equated Preziosa’s designs to those of stoneware from the 1950s due to the elegant shapes and calming colors.
Each piece is handmade by Preziosa using her “complete mastery of shape, material, and color.”
“Oh, the whimsy and the beautiful shapes and forms that you’ve made!” exclaimed Carpenter regarding Anne Krieg’s light and airy ceramic collection.
This year, Krieg presented a white-on-white array complete with tubular luminaries, teapots, and pitchers. Her display utilized glass tables and mirror which added to the dramatic effect of the pristine white pieces and showcases every angle.
The EMA Tea Set, a crowd favorite, features a beautiful contrast of smooth and rough surfaces and a design that’s as artistic as it is beautiful.
In a characteristically simple, monotone arena, you can’t overlook Bernex’s bold color choices. Atelier Romain Bernex artisans Marie-Pierre and Cyrille Huyghues Despointes are known internationally for their vibrant color choices.
This season, it’s all about the raspberry reds, ripe strawberry, green apple, and stunning yellow. These colors are all natural, and undeniably alluring.
“What you do in terms of color is spot-on,” Carpenter said.
Berangere Ceramics artisan Berangere Noyau believes that creating pottery brings “daily pleasure for the hands and eyes.” But it’s not just personal pleasure, her work, which includes decorative/artistic pieces and functional ones as well, is stunning and brings joy to everyone who has the opportunity to see it in person.
Houses, ranging in size and shape and inspired by those she saw on a trip to Cornwall, UK, are her signature style. They may seem simple on the outside, but they’re chock-full of whimsy. Carpenter mentioned that “each one is nicer than the next.”
To create her dark meets light look, she mixes stoneware clay with black iron oxide supplied from France. When the piece is fired, the iron oxide is activated and turns dark.
There are few places in the world where such strong talent congregates. We can’t wait to see what these artisans have in store for next season!