West Cornwall based potter Michel Francois’ elegant tea ware is inspired by the beauty and simplicity of ceramics from the Far East. Creating functional vessels with a pure, sculptural quality, Francois’ pieces are explorations of form and colour.
On Saturday 11th May, Francois welcomes the public to one of his regular kiln opening events at The Rural Workshops, Breage, timed to make sure the ash-wood glazed porcelain emerges still warm from the kiln. Visitors will be first to see the unique results of this firing, the simple, sensuous ceramics in subtle and beautiful blues, reds, whites and blacks.
Creating his own glazes using feldspar, Cornish stone and ash from local trees such as chestnut, ash, and beech, Francois’ work is kiln fired for twelve hours at temperatures of over 1300c. Employing a reduction firing technique which starves the kiln of oxygen, minerals and oxides from inside the clay are drawn to the surface to react with the ash glaze, ensuring that each piece is completely unique.
Previously a sculptor, French born Francois settled in Cornwall in 1999 after travelling and studying in Europe. Whilst studying at Falmouth University he was assistant to well known sculptor Tim Shaw. Graduating in 2002, Francois worked as a public art sculptor for 'artonic', and after discovering a love of clay and in particular the ceramic ware of the Far East, became an apprentice at the Leach Pottery in St Ives. From there, Francois set up his own studio outside Helston.
He recently co-designed and produced a new range of tableware for the Eden project, and his work has been shown at galleries in Paris, London, Edinburgh and at the International Teabowl exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan. Visitors to this event are welcome between 3pm and 6pm. Chinese Oolong tea will be served and works are available for purchase, with prices ranging from £10 to £500.
Francois' studio is 2 miles from Helston, signposted on the B3302 between Helston and Hayle. For further information contact Michel Francois Porcelain, The Rural Workshops, Breage, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9NW / 01736 448002 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.michelfrancois.com
(photo credit Paul Mounsey)