Pottery involves the art of touch, where a controlled hand and mastery of turning gives way to free forms. Once it has set, ceramicists can rework the shape. The dexterity, speed, and mastery of a gesture repeated over and over by ceramist results in a perfectly smooth, round object.
© Fabien Jinho Guiraud
From a ball of raw clay to an exceptional ceramic object, this is the story of a process that begins with the removal of material to reveal an initial shape and then, with the help of a wheel, gives it a final form. In his workshop in Saint-Quentin, the ceramist François Mandin creates this shape and uses an ancestral Japanese firing technique called "Raku", which includes a brutal variation in temperature with the removal of the piece from the still hot kiln. Saint Quentin and pottery is the story of a territory rich in clay, located in the middle of the forests and scrubland of the Uzège, the story of men, potters and ceramists with remarkable know-how who have been giving life to unique creations since the Middle Ages. Away from mass tourism, the village, which has been declared the "capital of ceramics", perpetuates this tradition with the permanent presence of 35 potters and ceramists who work there, associated with a rich cultural programme developed around Terra Viva, a contemporary ceramics gallery and artists' residences welcoming internationally renowned ceramists.