The name "pottery of Vallauris" includes the ceramic production of workshops and factories in the Vallauris region from the end of the 19th century

Parallel to a traditional ceramic production, artistic ceramics emerged at the end of the 19th century, notably thanks to the Massier family. In 1948, the arrival of Picasso in the potters' town greatly contributed to the revival of ceramics. His original production, he favored the installation in Vallauris of many artists who also came to learn the arts of fire. Let us quote for example Jean Marais or Jean Cocteau

Crisis and Renewal

At the beginning of the 20th century, as in other French pottery centers, culinary pottery began to decline, in competition with metal receptacles. The economic crisis of the late 1930s and the arrival of more appropriate materials (aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel ...) move pottery away from its utilitarian function to initiate, in the late 1940s, a completely different evolution: artistic ceramics

This artistic trend was present at the end of the 19th century with the Massier Clément family, Delphin and Jérôme introduced colored enamels and metallic pigments into their ceramics

In 1930, Jean Gerbino (1876-1966) opened a workshop in which he created numerous pottery using his unique process of mosaic of colored earths. But it was in 1947, with the arrival of Picasso and his astonishing ceramic production realized at The Madoura workshop, that the image of Vallauris as a center of traditional pottery definitely gives way to that of a city where artists and craftsmen

A new golden age

The arrival of Suzanne Ramié, André Baud, Roger Capron, Alice Colonieu, Robert Picault, Jean Derval, Henri Grailhe, Robert Pérot or Juliette Mazaudois mark the beginning of the 1950s, architects and artists from schools of fine arts converge on Vallauris. The revival of local ceramics. The first exhibition of the potters of Vallauris in 1946, organized by the workshop Madoura, André Baud and the workshop Callis (Capron and Picault), is the starting point of a new era characterized by a great Diversity of styles.

The new wave of artists creates freedom, opposes all conformisms, applies the great principles of modernism in which expressionist forms and Mediterranean sensitivity are mixed. Two general trends emerge: interest in animal subjects and in the presence of Picasso in Vallauris amplifies the movement and attracts other artists, painters or sculptors who have come to try it out. Ceramics Picasso stimulates the emergence of real potters thanks to its creative power An innovative spirit blows on Vallauris The first national ceramic competition was created in 1966 with the aim of affirming and maintaining the quality of production Exhibitions are multiplying, Devoted to the history of the arts of fire, the first biennial is organized in 1968

The various ceramists that the city brings together are all excellent technicians and passionate researchers. Their personalities are gradually detached from the influence of Picasso Around 1972, Vallaurian ceramics is booming After the passage of Picasso (who died in 1973), Vallauris remains a center of art pottery and unique pieces Great Roger Collet, Jean Derval, Robert Picault, Gilbert Portanier, Francoise Del Pierre, Jaque Sagan, Marius Musarra, Olivier Roy, Gilbert Valentin, Albert and Pyot Thiry, retain their studio in the city. Debauch of products and decorative objects for tourists often masks this creative vein

Among the countless factories which collectively sign 'Vallauris', without identifying themselves, there are interesting works, characterized by 'meerschaum' type coverings, reminiscent of the 'fat lava' of German industrial ceramics from the 1960s and 1970s The exclusive attention paid to the great names of Vallauris in the publications masks, alas, those contributions which have remained anonymous, or which used a generic stamp, such as that of Jérome Massier, under the direction of Maunier, during the 1960s These collective works, Not claimed by artistic personalities, deserve to be recognized for their contribution to the reputation of Vallauris as a center of world ceramics, by their contribution of a modernity and an experimental spirit popular and accessible to all

Some known potters

Roger Capron

Atelier Cerenne (Charles René Neveux)

Joël Baudouin

Jean Derval

Eugene Fidler

Jean Gerbino

Marcel Giraud

Alexandre Kostanda


Jean Marais

Massier Family

Alain Maunier

Gilbert Portanier

Francine Del Pierre

Albert Diato

Suzanne Ramié

Robert Perot

Charles Voltz