Dec 08, 2022
Astier de Villatte - Handmade in Paris
Ivan Pericoli and Benoit Astier de Villatte first met in the late 90’s in Paris, where they both studied at the Beaux Arts. Putting beauty first and practicality second they started making still life pieces using techniques passed down from Benoit’s father. They opened a flagship boutique on rue Saint Honoré. Together with their Tibetan and French artisans they’re the only major Parisian studio to keep the tradition of artisanal ceramic production alive.
All their objects are handmade, celebrating the beauty of imperfection, resulting in making an Astier de Villatte item something truly special to have in one’s home.
They say that forgotten objects, things that spark their curiosity, inspire them. There is no principle behind it! »We can be inspired by a million things: a museum, a flower bouquet forgotten in a vase, a certain kind of light, or even a trashcan! Their main objective is always the beauty of the object. The form is what we are primarily interested in, and if the object functions as well, then we’re very happy! When we create a cup, we don’t just want to create an object from which you can drink, we want it to be a potential centerpiece for a still-life. In a way, we feel that the primary function of an object is to be beautiful.«
They started out with ceramics, then went into scented candles, incense, ceiling lights, stationary, etc. »You could say our work is becoming increasingly eclectic. As time goes by, it has become obvious that what we want is to do the things we love without cutting into pre-existing categories.
We stay true to what we see; we don’t like anything that is contrived. Plato said: ‘Beauty is the splendour of Truth’. «
Astier de Villatte has earned its reputation as a legendary manufacturer of ceramics. The pieces are manufactured by some of Paris most skillful ceramic craftsmen in the workshop situated in the historic district of Bastille. The inherited traditional manufacturing methods usually begin with individual treatment of black terracotta clay, resulting in a product that is finally glazed with beautiful white glaze. The glaze accentuates the uniqueness of the clay before each piece is engraved with the company’s representation and initials of the responsible craftsman.