West Cornwall based potter Michel Francois’ elegant tea ware is inspired by the beauty and simplicity of ceramics from the Far East. Creating functional vessels with a pure, sculptural quality, Francois’ pieces are explorations of form and colour.
On Saturday 11th May, Francois welcomes the public to one of his regular kiln opening events at The Rural Workshops, Breage, timed to make sure the ash-wood glazed porcelain emerges still warm from the kiln. Visitors will be first to see the unique results of this firing, the simple, sensuous ceramics in subtle and beautiful blues, reds, whites and blacks.
Creating his own glazes using feldspar, Cornish stone and ash from local trees such as chestnut, ash, and beech, Francois’ work is kiln fired for twelve hours at temperatures of over 1300c. Employing a reduction firing technique which starves the kiln of oxygen, minerals and oxides from inside the clay are drawn to the surface to react with the ash glaze, ensuring that each piece is completely unique.
Previously a sculptor, French born Francois settled in Cornwall in 1999 after travelling and studying in Europe. Whilst studying at Falmouth University he was assistant to well known sculptor Tim Shaw. Graduating in 2002, Francois worked as a public art sculptor for 'artonic', and after discovering a love of clay and in particular the ceramic ware of the Far East, became an apprentice at the Leach Pottery in St Ives. From there, Francois set up his own studio outside Helston.
He recently co-designed and produced a new range of tableware for the Eden project, and his work has been shown at galleries in Paris, London, Edinburgh and at the International Teabowl exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan. Visitors to this event are welcome between 3pm and 6pm. Chinese Oolong tea will be served and works are available for purchase, with prices ranging from £10 to £500.
Francois' studio is 2 miles from Helston, signposted on the B3302 between Helston and Hayle. For further information contact Michel Francois Porcelain, The Rural Workshops, Breage, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9NW / 01736 448002 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.michelfrancois.com
Last saturday I opened the Kiln to the public for the first time ..
It was a great success!
Russian tea and chocolate cake was served..
As far as big teapots go this was perfect!
Thank you to all my friends for helping out to make this a great event.
Le bateau a the est tres utile dans la preparation du the chinois.
A teaboat is very useful when brewing chinese tea. It enables the teapot to be kept warm.
michelfrancois.co.uk , or email me for details.click here/cliquez ici
Years ago I saw an exhibition in a small museum in Toulouse called Wabi cha the art of tea. 6 ancient Chawans were on show. I was moved by the feeling of gentilness and power emanating from them. Making tea bowls as a western potter today is not the same as making tea bowls in rural korea in the 12th century. I remember talking to an other potter friend, he was saying he wanted to be korean. He started to dress korean, eat korean,and speak korean. Thinking that would help him in his artistic expression. Only to realise that good pots come from an other place. You can meditate all day and still make terrible tea bowls. . In deed 'trying' to make 'good' tea bowls does not mean you end up happy with them. Nor does the way of just mindlessly making thousands and thousands in the hope that randomness and chance firing will spare a few that will get the 'Wabi' status. The fact is 'true' art and beauty come from the action of learning. Making tea bowls for me is first an act of learning. putting into practice the synthesis of what I have been gathering in skill and energy at the time I make. I'm analysing now but the making of tea bowls comes out of a strong desire for making them. It is a free act, not a self conscious one and I enjoy it very much.michelfrancois.co.uk
I would like to let you know of my new website michelfrancois.co.uk
Je vous informe que mon nouveau site web est en ligne. michelfrancois.co.uk
I have been working a lot in Terracotta this year.
Somehow It has made me come back to porcelain in a big way.
I feel confident and relaxed with porcelain now.
It still is a demanding partner but worth it sometimes.
All these pieces are for sale now. Email me for prices and sizes.
this is a largish porcelain bowl inspired by Sui dinasty ware. This duck egg white glaze is a suptle adaptation of an ancient chard of this period. This new glaze was made possible through slight consistent glaze modifications happening over many kiln firings. Made with some cornish stone, it reflects the light and changes with it. Inside the pot goes blue outside it is more white. Good for a large used water bowl or as a fruit bowl.
A large Sui dynasty chinese shaped bowl - a timeless classic
There is an essential purity to this ancient shape. A friend warmed to this large shape for a bowl. It reminded him of a Buddhist begging bowl.
The next image is a very large porcelain bowl made for a commission of eight bowls making up an installation for outside.
It is a dangerous business to be in Pottery.
Or maybe that is the way I like it.
In case you were wondering this it is not Raku.
Raku is fired to 980c, black Seto on the other hand is fired to 1300 in a reduction atmosphere.
Then the kiln is opened to halt the reduction and the pieces are taken out red hot. The quicker they come out the blacker they go.
When dipped in water they generate speckles.
There is nothing like it...
either you get the stars or the dark side of the moon ...
J'ai voulu faire quelque chose de plus libérateur tout en utilisant cette belle forme de pichet. Parfait pour acceuillir des fleurs.
Ce n'est pas juste les composantes de la glazure qui donne le bon résutat, le ton la couleur et la luminosité. Ce rendu comme les bols juns et le résultat d'un équilibre subtil entre les composantes de la glazure et la façon dont les minéraux présent dans la terre se transmutent dans celle ci au moment de la cuisson dite en 'reduction'.
Je tente d'expliquer simplement ce type de cuisson en 'réduction' .
Au moment ou le four atteint 1000° je réduis l'oxygène présent dans le four en bloquant le conduit d'air à la sortie du four, l'oxgène va chuter de 20% à 0,2 %. C'est à ce moment que les oxyde et les minéraux dans la terre vont être tirer vers la surface car ils sont portés par l'oxygène qui va les déposer dans la glazure.
J'ai utilisé de la terre de Cornouailles avec de la porcelaine, la glazure est du type Longquan, et 10 % de cendre de peuplier Breton à été ajouté pour lui donner cette allure tendre..
La luminosité est obtenu en ouvrant le four a chaud à 1300° et en laissant cette cuisson se refroidir subitement jusque à 900° moment ou il faut refermer la porte.
ce bol à eaux usées est un peu plus bleuté..
J'aime tout particulièrement ces grains de beautés, particules de fer présente dans la terre qui ont voyagé à travers la glazure pour fondre a la surface..
Bols à eau usées ou Pichet à Fleurs - 60 euros frais d'envoye 15euros mon mail email@example.com
Celadon water bowl and Flower Jug -
For the US 90 $ 30$ delivery.
for the UK 50£ and 10£ delivery.