My Favorites from The Salon: Art + Design
A beautiful stoneware vase bearing Edmond Lachenal's mark but more likely the work of his pupil Émile Decoeur. Lachenal had begun producing simply glazed stonewares around 1900, whereas Decoeur seems to have concentrated on earthenware during most of his time at Lachenal's atelier. However, like many other ceramicists, Decoeur seems to have fallen under the spell of Jean Carriès mat-glazed stoneware, which was coming to be seen as an aesthetic alternative to porcelain and earthenware. Almost certainly, Decoeur created the stoneware pieces that bear both Lachenal's mark and his own monogram beneath. These are works distinguished by harmonious proportions, restrained linear rhythms, and arresting glazes. Although the present vase, which is one of a kind, lacks Decoeur's monogram, it possesses all these same qualities. Its stately, balanced form is graced with finely modeled handles, and a flowing reduction glaze offsets the rotund body with a vertical emphasis.
Émile Decoeur, who began his ceramics career in 1890 as an apprentice to Edmond Lachenal, began to exhibit under his own name in 1902. While his early work was in the organic, richly-sculpted style of Lachenal, as time passed his use of sculptural elements gradually diminished and he became interested in simple, well-balanced forms with rich flambé glazes. During the years 1907 and '08, he moved to a rural area and set up kilns that he would use for the rest of his career. He continued to refine his forms and calm his glazes until his finished pieces became remarkably pure. A palette of muted colors and carefully executed geometric patterns enhanced many of these subtle designs. [Source: Jason Jacques]