Inside Astier de Villatte Workshop Paris

Bringing the everyday object to life through beauty, humour, and storytelling...

The French have a way of amplifying what is beautiful and going without the rest. It is an approach that is deep within their everyday lifestyle: how they eat, communicate, and dress. Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli, founders of the French atelier Astier de Villatte have focused on creating something truly unique, truly thoughtful, and therefore beautiful, and utterly French. The brand brings the everyday object to life through forms of beauty, humour, and storytelling. There is a humanness in their designs and what they prioritise as fundamental.

On our recent trip to Paris, we were invited into the workshop of Astier de Villatte. The first thing one notices when arriving is the peacefulness. Tables of crafts people are seated, happily working away on their designated object, either sculpting, sanding, or glazing. We meet those who have been with the company for years, considered extended family, rooted into the company's genes...

We snake our way through four floors; kiln and clay, master molds, a printing room, the colour transfers table, and a testing station where ceramics are tested by sound for water tightness. On the top floor, shelves host overwhelming amounts of stacked plates, candlesticks, vases and cups, all ready for shipping out. The overall energy is gentle, yet productive.

On the third floor, our timing is perfect and we are invited into Setsuko Klossowska de Rola's studio. Long time collaborator of Astier de Villatte, well known for 'the smoking cat'. Her studio space is a small room glowing with a soft pink and sage green palette. Setsuko is otherworldly, dressed in complete kimono attire, tabi glove socks and wooden japanese sandals. Her apron, however, suggests she is working. Red velvet chairs and three tree sculptures punctuate the room. A pastel poster from The Grand Budapest Hotel film hangs on the wall, and we're later told that Wes Anderson is a close friend.
The unique clay is collected from the River Seine in Paris.
Small collections at the Astier de Villatte offices.

It was impossible to absorb all of the beauty available inside Astier de Villatte's workshop. An absolute hub of creation, where fantasy and function collide, but do not smash. Being able to observe the process, one made by many happy hands (and hearts), Astier de Villatte's objects have now, in our minds, been further infused with joy.

It is a great pleasure and privilege to share this experience with our Tessuti community.

Wandering through the master molds.
Each ceramic being checked over for small cracks after firing.
A mesmerising process of adding colour and texts.
The Paris vase ready to be shipped.
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