This simplistic vessel cuts off just at the slight inward curve of the shoulder, which gives an expansive, planar quality to its surface. One senses the influence of Japanese stoneware, which first figured as an inspiration to French ceramists when shown at the Exposition Universelle (the third Paris World Fair) in 1878. Here this influence has translated into an exploration of the organic and unpredictable potential of the ceramic medium. Hoentschel’s own design repertoire of tea jar inspired vases, sculpted by Grittel and former assistants of the late Jean-Joseph Carriès, leads into the development of a relaxed glazing technique. In this piece, among the translucent brown and grey glazes, a rim of thick, crackled white glaze has settled around the body of the vessel, adding layers to its materiality.
About Georges Hoentschel
Georges Hoentschel was an interior designer with an elite international following. He engaged sculptor Jean Carriès to create Japonist ceramics for his more advanced clients. Work done by Emile Grittel and others under Hoentschel's name was noted for gold glaze effects and the frequent use of metal mounts. Much of the inspiration was drawn from floral forms. Hoentschel's talent and taste were officially confirmed when he was commissioned to design and oversee the decoration of the pavilion of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900. [Source: Jason Jacques]