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Norbert et Jeanne Pierlot

Norbert et Jeanne Pierlot

Norbert et Jeanne Pierlot (1919 - 1979)

Born in Algeria in colonial times, Norbert arrived in Paris at the age of twenty and became an actor. He met the ceramist Jeanne Boutet de Monvel during one of his performances, and they married in 1949. In 1950, Jeanne took Norbert to the land of ceramists, St Amand-en-Puisaye, where the production of sandstone dates back in the 16th century, a region that she loved. She introduced him to her friends the potters and the well-known Eugène Lion ceramicists' family with whom she had learned. During an impromptu night visit, Norbert and Jeanne fell in admiration of the dilapidated castle of Ratilly. They decided to settle there, without too much means, and to share their art of living and their experience with young potters in this incomparable place. They then produce pieces for which they try to develop an essential harmony between enamel and shape. All the pieces are signed with an owl, a sedentary bird that could found in the old towers of the castle. From the first years, they live with an open door and offered pottery courses, the first in Europe.

"From the collaboration of Jeanne and Norbert, more sophisticated shapes of containers will arise, also freeer, where the pot is only a pretext or almost. Very narrowed vases or bottles, with tense, soft but strict lines, with a precious and thick enamel, dark, black or brown, or even white combined with the blackish stains of the pyrites contained in the clay of Puisaye. "
Marcel Poulet, L'Aventure de Ratilly, Ceramics and Glass Review, July-August 1988

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