Michel Francois Kiln Opening Event

Saturday 21st September 2013 / 3pm to 5pm

On Saturday 21st September, West Cornwall based potter Michel Francois welcomes the public to another of his ever popular kiln opening events. Visitors will be first to enjoy the unique results of this firing and see his elegant porcelain emerge warm from the kiln.

This new collection of studio pottery showcases the luminous, translucent beauty of Celadon glaze, in subtle duck egg blues inspired by Korean and Japanese porcelain, imperial yellow, and milky white satin glazes inspired by the Sui and Tang dynasty.

Pieces range from bowls and serving dishes to wine cups and flower jugs alongside statement pieces such as tulip vases, fine jars and larger works.

This event will coincide with  the launch of the new range of contemporary porcelain designed by Francois’ for Espressini Artisan Coffee house, Falmouth.

 Michel has also 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 free event are welcome between 3 and 5pm.
Chinese tea will be served and works are available for purchase, with prices ranging from £10 to £500.

For further information contact Michel Francois Porcelain, 
The Rural Workshops, Breage, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9NW  / 01736 448002

Hello All

I would like to let you know that this summer in collaboration with the Leach Pottery and the St Ives september festival we have launched the first even Cornwall Ceramics Trail !!

Check out the new blog to view the vibrant talent west Cornwall has to offer.
cornwall ceramics trail

I thought it good to post a few more images of what is on offer regarding my new work.

Black Seto jars

The Last Firing before the Cornwall Design Fair 2013

Why do I have FIRE written on my back? I think it may be time to open..

firing the Kiln

opening the kiln
The now famous Metin Erturk from Turkey will give the final verdict. You ready.

Metin Erturk opening the kiln
While I caan't help but notice that the black Seto teabowls have gone one touch too hot.
But not that much too hot.. I think Metin is right this is mission accomplished.

kiln glowing

Many Hands make light work..

Marc-Antoine from France and Metin from Turkey are spending their summer helping me in the studio. 
I am very privileged to have help this busy time of year. 
Great times, happy memories. .
porcelain drying

Firing on all burners for the Cornwall Design Fair ...www.cornwalldesignfair.co.uk
at Trereife House the15th to 18th of August

Préparation à la cuisson pour le Cornwall Design Fair - Getting ready ..

Aujourd'hui, je vous présente les coulisses de la production de nouvelles grandes jarres. Celles-ci seront présentées au Cornwall Design Fair, les 16, 17 et 18 août prochain (www.cornwalldesignfair.co.uk).

Pour les réaliser, j'ai utilisé un mélange de grès et de porcelaine. Je fais toujours très attention de sélectionner les matériaux de la meilleure qualité qu'il soit. Cela s'inclut dans ma démarche d'offrir à mes clients une oeuvre unique et aboutie. Pour y arriver, je souligne que pour ces pièces, le travail des anses est primordial puisqu'il contribue à donner à ces jarres toute leur noblesse.

Ensuite, par ces photos, je vous donne à voir les étapes ultimes de la fabrication :

La glaçure :
1ère glaçure : à base de pierres de Cornouailles
2ème glaçure : inspirée de la tradition de porcelaine japonaise Arita, qui elle-même puise ses traditions en Corée. Cette glaçure est élaborée à base de cendres de peupliers, de Feldspath et d'ocre jaune.


Les finitions :
C'est une étape à laquelle je suis très précautionneux. Il faut tout d'abord attendre que la glaçure soit bien sèche à la surface de la pièce, puis ensuite j'utilise un outil fibre de bambou pour égaliser la surface.

Glaze fettling

glaze fettling

La cuisson :
Ultime mais essentielle phase, la cuisson de ces deux pièces va s'exécuter avec d'autres pièces travaillées au cours de la semaine. La cuisson requiert un contrôle du temps, de la température, de l'apport en oxygène.
Après 5 heures de cuisson, à 1000°C, je réduirai l'apport en oxygène dans le four d'un facteur 10. (de 20% dans l'atmosphère à 2% ici).
5 heures plus tard, à 1280°C, j'éteindrai le four, et l'ouvrirai quelques minutes seulement pour donner aux pièces la tonalité souhaitée.

Kiln packing cornwall design fair

The Glaze Mystery..

Porcelain Sui glaze Jar
When I first started working with ceramics I thought glazes were not interesting, being way too bold and fat, hiding the purity of form and the pulsating quality of the wet clay. 
For many years I turned to sculpture and thought ceramics too limiting as I felt the glazes stifled the form. 

Then seeing the ancient Raku bowls, the Sung and the Chosun Pots, I realised how mistaken I was! 
I then  tirelssly tryed to make glazes that could generate an emotional response. 
Ceramic surfaces, like fabric are limitless in their appeal.. 
I believe their very nature is somewhat 'mysterious' and can trigger wonder, and emotion.
 I believe pots can hold an 'essence' . 
glaze is like skin- the interface- the point of contact drawing the viewer in, inviting us to touch..

In this case a sensual milkyness, something soft that seems palpable, fluid, tender yet firm. 
The other day I sent a bowl to Taiwan for Stephane from the blog Teamasters.

The glaze was a duck egg white that has hints of blue to it,
 based on my reseach into the ancient White chinese glazes.
 I have been working on this glaze for five years.

I have now made this glaze even softer by calcinating the China clay I use in the glaze.
 I don't think I will change much to it now. Probably my finest glaze!

Philippe m'a envoyé une photo d'une dégustation de Long Jin en Herbe ..

Heureux de voire mes pièces utilisées.

Sung Dynasty - Timeless & Contemporary..

I thought you might all enjoy a bit of writing about what makes Sung Ceramics so fascinating.
Like the sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, these ancient pots seem to capture so much essence in their simplicity. With the Korean Chosun dynasty pots, made at about the same time, they never seem to loose their grip on me. I've been sucked in .. and will forever continue to be inspired by them.

This piece has flown off to its owner in Taiwan.

"Chinese Ceramics of the Sung Dynasty are probably the classic expression not only of ceramic art in China, but in all the world. By classic we mean that the ceramics of the Sung achieved a unity of the essentials of the ceramic art which has never been surpassed. 

Shape, potting techniques, glaze, from both an aesthetic and chemical standpoint, the techniques of using the materials and firing them were all unified at the highest level. 

The result was a flawless series of wares which still commands the respect and admiration as well as the despair of the modern potter. 

In general, the shapes of the Sung Dynasty wares are extremely simple. They tend to be subtle, one form flowing into an other, in contrast to the ceramics of the Tang Dynasty and earlier. While one can speak of the neck, body and foot of a Tang ceramic, it is very difficult to know in many Sung wares where the neck commences, the body leaves off, or the foot begins.  One form flows with ease into the other, producing a unified effect. The glazes of Sung ceramics tend to be monochromatic and have surfaces that are usually rather soft and mat. They appear to be an integral part of the form of the ceramic object and have wondrous depth and texture inviting the spectator to touch. 

This was achieved by a pragmatic chemistry which, while not skilled or knowledgeable from the stand point of formulas or modern chemical processes, achieved by trial and error a very high level of chemical technique. 

Fortunatly their chemical method was not prefect, and consequently their glazes have enough imperfections in the form of chemical impurities to relieve the effect of the glaze from that hard and bright single  colour effect so characteristic of later chinese porcelains. 

The ornament used on Sung ceramic wares was, with the exception of one class, very spare, chaste, and subdued when used at all. Often the ornament was incised or carved on the body before the application of the glaze, which served to hide the ornament to a certain extent, allowing the form of the vessel to dominate the decoration. "Sherman Lee ex-Cleveland Museum Director. 

Celadon Tea set

2 teacups neither small nor too large, confortable for all teas. 
Sencha, Darjeeling, Red tea, Pu ehr, Oloong ..this is the most versatile shape. 
 Celadon Pitcher & Teaboat. 
A used water bowl in Cealdon is also available. 

Please email me for prices and availability. Made to order 3 weeks till delivery.


Set en Celadon 
2 tasses à Thé  ni trop grandes ni petites, ces tasses sont adaptées pour tous Thés. 
Bateau à thé et Pichet Celadon. Un bol à eaux usées est aussi disponible. 

Passez moi un mail pour le prix. Temps de livraison 3 semaines. 
(photo credit Paul Mounsey)

3 Chawans

Ash glazed Chawan Teabowl
Black Seto Teabowl Chi'en shape
Chestnut Ash Teabowl Michel Francois

These 3 Teabowls are flying off to New York. I know they will be cherished..
(photo credit Paul Mounsey)

New Teabowl

Oil Spot Teabowl Chawan
This is a new teabowl.
I have already sold it  the famous Ceramicist Roger Michell.

I now have a professional craft photographer Paul Mounsey. He understands pots as he has spent 5 years working with a potter.

Voici un nouveau bol à Thé.
'Tache d'huile' ancienne glazure chinoise.

PRESS RELEASE - Kiln Opening Event Saturday 11th May 2013 / 3pm to 6pm

 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 mrmfrancois@gmail.com / www.michelfrancois.com

(photo credit Paul Mounsey)

jun jar

Large Jar with beautiful Jun glaze. Like mist on a Cambodian lake.. 

Jun jar waterfall

Here is the waterfall.. email mrmfrancois@gmail.com check my website michelfrancois.com



Les plus belles choses sont souvent difficiles à photographier..

Un beau grand bol vendu au célèbre musicien Bastien Crocq.

Koryo Bottle vase

Koryo celadon bottle vase

Celadon bottle vase

Notice how the change in light changes the colour of the vase. from blue to green..

Kiln opening

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..

David and Kathy Collen from the Essence of Tea made a special Russian Caravan blend for the occasion made  of Sun moon Lake,  Rock tea and Lapsang ...

 As far as big teapots go this was perfect!

Thank you to all my friends for helping out to make this a great event.

Thank you to Julia and all from the Leach pottery for being supportive. 
Thank you Joe and Michael for drumming people to, and helping out in the studio.
To Vicky for putting herself out, to my parents and to David and Kathy for making all the Tea!

Teacups handmade for you!- Tasses à Thés pour vous!

celadon teacups
celadon teacups

Available on order over the phone 0044 (0)1736 44 8002

Email mrmfrancois@gmail.com

Ru Celadon

10 années depuis la naissance de ma passion pour la céramique asiatique.
Je viens de me rendre compte à quel point j'ai travaillé pour redécouvrir cet art perdu.

La céramique la plus chère au monde est le Céladon Ru de l'époque Sung. 
Est-ce sa rareté ?  
Bien sûr seules une trentaine de pièces Ru n'ont été découvertes jusqu'à présent. 
C'est aussi et surtout pour sa beauté, ce je ne sais quoi, ni bleu ni vert, sans colorant. 
Si subtil. .