As an interiors stylist, specialising in food, meeting ceramists was an occupational hazard.
Marion Graux would borrow their bowls and plates for shoots until eventually, years after graduating from art school, at the age of 29, she decided to try her hand at it herself.
“It’s strange, I’d been to art school but never felt that I could express myself through art, that it was never good enough,” explains Graux. “With pottery, something clicked; it was a relief as if I’d finally found the right thing for me.”
Growing up, she was inspired by her aesthete parents who taught her to appreciate quality and all the beautiful fabrics and objects that they filled the family home with. It’s why she thinks she takes pleasure in beautiful everyday things. “I wanted to celebrate the ordinary; even if I’m not rustling up anything fancy but eating a simple salad, I always want to take the time to eat it off a nice plate, on a pretty wooden table. I take a lot of pleasure and care in small everyday things".
A series of plates takes a minimum of 15 days or up to 3 weeks. “You can’t rush the process as you can spoil the process, they can end up cracking.” They cook in temperatures of up to 980°C and the glaze is set in temperatures of up to 1240°C, high enough to mature the clay, ensuring that it can hold water.
“It’s quite rough and unfinished which I think adds character to my work. I don’t like it when things look too done and perfect. The colours are quite natural, muted mineral colours.”
Graux’s atelier is in the countryside at her father’s house and an hour away from where she lives in Paris, which provides an antidote to her busy, urban life.