Normandy Life has a faience themed blog about the King's Cake, "Galette des Rois" and feves today which is also linked to Chari's meme.
Here at QCI we are sharing a post entitled "A Secret Little Crush" written by Tricia, a member of the Club's web committee, which was first posted in March 2009.
Many thanks to all of you for your sweet comments regarding my last post. I plan to be in Dallas with bells on and hopefully Ben in tow! The little tidbits I've heard about the collections we will be visiting have me drooling and I can't wait to see all of the other wonderful QCI members again.
I told you all a little bit about why I like Quimper faience in my last post. The more that I learn about Bretagne, the more I appreciate how well the faience captures that spirit and Breton personality.
The way that the faienceries kept current with the modes of the time and also recognized the best artists that Bretagne had to offer in all mediums really impresses me. To think that they recognized the best sculptors and painters of the time and asked them to create new faience works really says a lot about the craft. Its just not something that you see on British transferware for example. And the pieces by the Porquier-Beau faiencerie are really outstanding, a class unto themselves.
But yet, despite all of that, I must admit that it is really the Malicorne pieces that get my heart aflutter. Now the purists will say that is scandalous, "They're forgeries after all!" and the more forgiving will call them copies but I think that one hundred years on we can appreciate them for their own artistic place in the world of French faience.
And the bit of legal history between Porquier-Beau and Pouplard-Beatrix just makes them all the more interesting.
There just is something about the deep red clay, crackled glaze and intense, matte colors thatreally speaks to me.
Somehow they seem more handcrafted, more organic than their more perfect upmarket cousins. My absolutely favorite stop at the 2007 QCI meeting was the collection that Alain Champion had arranged for us to see.
It was the cutest fairy tale home filled with some of the best Malicorne I have ever seen.
If like me, you have a little sweet spot for Malicorne, you will certainly enjoy Alain's book "Leon Pouplard, faiencier a Malicorne" and a must see is the Malicorne museum in the town of the same name.
My favorite piece is a plate that I bought in the South of France of all places, from a dealer who didn't quite know where the "tres belle" piece came from. The center of the plate is of a couple possibly in the beginning stages of a courtship.
He is holding her hand and gazing into her eyes, she is nervously twirling the tie on her apron. You wonder what she is thinking. Should I really let him hold my hand? Is he being sincere or is he just too suave? It seems as if she will blush at any moment. Or is he proposing and her heart is pounding with nervousness?
I admit, it was a piece that I truly hope wouldn't sell as I coveted it for my own collection.
Was it the most valuable piece I had, no, but it spoke to me. Really, isn't that the true essence of collecting?
Another thing that I love about faience in general is the various forms that it comes in. No settling for the flat surface of a plate for the French.
Several years ago, I purchased a sweet little Malicorne quintal vase from Judy Datesman that I hold ready for the season's first camellias.
On the walls of our living room, we have a collection of PBx plates with Breton figures and the lovely leaf and acorn border.
I enjoy comparing the figures to the engravings by Lalaisse trying to decide where they would have resided in Bretagne.
On our little writing desk, there is a beautiful double scallop shell server with a leaf handle from Formaintroux Freres in Desvres along with a recent Quimper lamp and inkwell (though my decorator would die if she knew I was showing you my temporary tiebacks on the drapes).
Faience will fit into any decor, even the most modern depending on the artist and era which you choose. Don't be afraid to mix things up a bit. If you love it, use it!
So, what is your favorite piece? the one you secretly love the most? How do you display your collection or use it in your everyday life?