Simone Perrotte

Bursary Winner 2012

Be careful if you have breakfast or a friendly cup of tea in a Simone Perrotte bowl, you are observed. By two inky black eyes, or maybe four, set out against a back-ground or fur or bubonic swellings. By simply setting out a teapot, plate and vase designed by the same hand, the table becomes a playground for a pocket zoo, featuring batrachians, reptiles, and birds.

Why animals? Because they have loads of different materials- scales, warts, hair, fur and feathers »says an enthusiastic Simone Perrotte. To exhibit her fantastic collection of beasts more clearly, she has developed a whole repertoire of white china pieces with organic forms determined by their simplicity. The smallest items are hand crafted to break the rigidity of lines and make them more fluid. « I make all my blank shapes in one go, as if I were preparing my canvases » Then, on the clear surface of the piece comes the design. Simone dribbles a fine line of black slip, hardly seeming to direct the trickle. Then, on the dry earthenware, absorbent as blotting paper, she re-works the blot, where she knows how to bring out an animal shape, adding a pair of feet or the outline of a face.

Here, a bird, fluffed up in its feathers as if to hide its presence at the bottom of a cup. A little further over, a pair of frogs, preparing to jump off a plate. On the curve of a vase, the indeterminate shape of an insect, stretching out its spindly legs. It was after three years at the Olivier de Serres school, followed by a course of training at the Maison de la Ceramique in Mulhouse, that Simone had her revelation concerning slip decoration.

Since 2003, working alone in her Paris workshop, she has found, in the complexity of her monochrome designs, the richness that is usually brought to ceramics through the depth of enamelling. « The more I continue, the more my work is finely detailed » explains the artist. Last June, her works made a lively contribution to an exhibition on the theme of insects at the Fusion gallery in Toulouse before touring at the Lavoir de Clamart, the Embargo gallery in Paris, Sofa in Chicago… and Maison et Objet. Atelier d’Art Magazine, January-February 2007