A mission of professionalisation for the ceramic worshop in Gyumri
Four french expert ceramists, one same passion for ceramic: this is the recipe adopted by the Family Care Foundation (Armenia) and the Muscari Association (France) to lead Armenian craftsmen to excellence.
The workshop in Gyumri exists since 2014 and the remarkable development of its activities testifies the ambition of two partners, Antonio Montalto and Manoug Pamokdjian. Since 2018, Family Care and Muscari implement a project of skills transfer to the craftsmen of the workshop. The goal is to train them to excellence thanks to the know-how of French ceramists.
The mission of professionalisation started with a first audit, in Gyumri, in April 2019, achieved by the Maison de la Céramique de Dieulefit and two expert ceramists of the AURA region (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).
A first team of ceramists intervened, from 30th September to 14th October 2019, relayed by a second one, from 21st October to 4th November 2019.
In the first team, there was Estelle Richard. This ceramist discover the pottery universe thanks to the meeting with a potter. She then begins an apprenticeship and trained herself to ceramic turning and to enamelling. It has been for more than 14 years now that Estelle has been making her passion her profession. She has been self-employed for 10 years now in Burdignes (Loire). With this project, she wanted to learn, to pass on et to exchange around this work full of sensibility.
Estelle was in pairs with Julien Mazard, which work in his workshop La Poterie de Passe-Velou (Beauvène, Ardèche) is part of the duality, between solidity and fineness, earth and enamel, light and opacity. He is committed to revisit a traditional work, while bringing his personal touch and modernity. With this mission, he loved the idea of the meeting around a same passion, but practiced in a different culture.
The second team was composed of Emilie Brouin and Marc Giroudon.
In the footsteps of a family of potters, Marc fell into pottery as a teenager. At his workshop L’antre aux pots (Villerest, Loire), he combines utilitarism with tradition. What he liked about this exchnage with Armenia, it was the possibility to travel thanks to his profession. For him, the pottery is worldwide, no matter where you are, it is the same language.
The program of this two mission consisted of turning training of the artists of the workshop, improve the production system adopted, identify and enrich the ceramics technics used so far in Armenia.
It is a first step in a project support by AURA Region, Lyon Metropolis and the Bullukian Fondation.
Four french ceramists shared a great experience, each one bringing authenticity and knowledge.
This journey in Armenia was an exceptional professional and human experience, a true meeting of two cultures, as much for Armenian artists as for French experts.