Mission of professionalization – May 2022
During the second mission of the year, from May 2 to 16, three French ceramists went to Gyumri to continue the development of the ceramic workshop of our partner Family Care Foundation.
Gyumri artisan workshop was expanded with the creation of a casting space in May. This new technique that was brought to the team, allowed to enrich the knowledge of young Armenian ceramists.
Two ceramist experts, Jacques Lardin and Gérard Leclercq, led the training in casting, in enameling and charging.
For the first time ever this multiple training was open to the public for the acquisition of the basics of the trade: from the preparation of the barbotine and the enamel baths to the defurning, followed by the repair of the molds.
In parallel to this training, the Gumri workshop welcomed François Fresnais, specialized in the production of large ceramics. This Burgundy expert immersed himself in the history and archives of Kütahya before creating pieces with the workshop decorators that will be offered at an auction in November 2022 in Lyon.
Portraits of ceramic experts
Jacques Lardin & Gérard Leclercq
“After learning about this project, where several potters have already intervened to bring their help and knowledge, it seemed interesting to participate in it and to share our skills with these confreres who are already well versed in their art. For us it is important to help set up this casting workshop, and to introduce one or two young people to this manufacturing process which will allow them a certain autonomy, and be an initiative to learn different techniques of enameling, charging, furnace repair, colors, etc. It will be a fraternal sharing!”
Trained at the ceramics school of Longchamp in Dijon and installed in Ouches, these two ceramicists have brought up to date the Roan pottery – a tradition born at the end of the XVIII during the revolutionary period.
For more than 40 years they have been inspired by original decorations to evolve them into more modern designs while keeping the same spirit and characteristics. The pink beige earth is covered with an opaque enamel, where we place the floral, oriental or revolutionary decoration based on four colors.
Thus, they worked on the restoration of a Roan tradition, and today they participate in the valorization of another expertise: the Armenian ceramics of Kütahya with the workshop of Gumri. They set up a casting workshop and trained young people in casting, enameling and charging techniques for two weeks.
I am not able to travel to other countries. I use pottery as a guide that allows me to discover the country. Armenia makes me dream with its ceramics. This mission is a way to go there to do something; learn from the country and the Armenians beyond just tourism.”
A specialist in varnished earth, this Burgundy ceramicist is inspired by the past to create more contemporary products and, thus, give a perfect illustration of the nuances and character of this technique that he shares with everyone at conferences, markets, workshops or books.
His production of traditional inspirations and practices is marked today by energetic filming and accentuated by deformations, collages, embossing and modeling of the earth.
His curiosity leads him to discover new historical and geographical inspirations to understand ceramics.
Family Care Foundation and Muscari Association, as well as the participants in the training, warmly thank Jacques, Gérard and François for their commitment, their kindness and for sharing their competences.