French milkman Robert Vasseur made his first piece of art completely unwittingly. In 1952, he repaired a sink in his small Normandy cottage by covering its basin with bits of broken crockery. His wife was pleased with the result, so he decided to keep going.
For the next 50 years of his life, until his death in 2002, Vasseur meticulously blanketed his home in colorful shards of pottery, bright-white seashells, and shimmering fragments of glass. The result: La Maison de Vaisselle Cassée, a whimsical structure crafted from the discards of an entire town, and hatched from the mind of one unrelentingly creative man.
Vasseur was born in 1908 and is said to have never left his native Normandy. There, he married and worked jobs in a textile factory and as a milkman. In 1948, he purchased a little house for his family in the small town of Louviers, not far from France’s northern coast. This home, located on the narrow street of Rue du Bal Champêtre, became Vasseur’s canvas—and remains intact today.