Let's end our Parade of Pottery with this piece—from across the English Channel—from France.
In 1944, as WWII was raging, four young Paris bohemians elected to flee The City of Lights rather than risk being pressed into the service of the enemy Germans. They moved South to safety and settled in Cluny, which was a bit farther from the German line. They found work in a local ceramics workshop and learned the craft of the potter. On the side, they began making ceramic buttons, strictly for their own use.
In 1945, once the war had ended, they got a call from a friend in Paris—Christian Dior—who placed an order for 300 ceramic buttons. He was working on a new look (The New Look!). In short order, the fashion magazines discovered their new favorite and soon Monsieur Dior needed more buttons—many, many, many more buttons! Dior's ceramic buttons became very fashionable and the four friends soon needed more space. They moved North to Accolay and set up their production in an abandoned factory.
By 1949, the ceramic button craze had tapered-off and the four friends began making decorative art pottery. They employed many of the village's inhabitants in both ceramics production and in selling it. They began displaying their wares on tables and shelves set-up outside of the village's gas stations—which gave the town a festive atmosphere and created a popular destination for auto travelers on the nearby highways.
The piece above, made in the 1950's, is one such piece. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed. While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
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