Roger Capron, a versatile ceramic artist who made a mark in the 1960s and 1980s, is celebrated as one of the leading ceramicists of his time. In 1946, Capron relocated to Vallauris, France, a renowned pottery town, and established his studio. His journey in Vallauris included interactions with none other than Picasso, who joined the community a year later to explore his own ceramic endeavors. Capron was a pioneer of the “formes libres” movement during the 1940s, and his work was characterized by playful undulating forms, vibrant colors, and lighthearted touches.
As the years progressed, Capron’s style evolved towards mid-century modernism, drawing inspiration from Scandinavian design from the 1950s and 1960s. He crafted colorful tiled tables in sleek, simple, and functional forms.
Although Capron initially had a passion for drawing and attended the École des Arts Appliqués in Paris, his journey took a fascinating turn when he discovered ceramics. He established the “Callis” ceramic workshop in 1946, embracing the motto of his mentor René Gabriel: “to make the beautiful within the reach of all.” In doing so, Capron significantly contributed to the revival of ceramics in Vallauris, rubbing shoulders with other notable artists like Picasso. In 1952, he took a significant step by founding the “Atelier Capron,” a small factory that employed around fifty skilled artisans.
Capron’s distinctive style often incorporated earthenware and enameled lava tiles, traditionally reserved for decorative panels. This unique use of ceramics for furniture and objects became his signature. Notably, Capron was a trailblazer in leveraging his ceramic expertise for semi-industrial production, transforming his workshop into a small factory with an international reputation.
To this day, the remarkable creations of Roger Capron find a place of honor in renowned institutions like the Musée National de la Céramique in Sèvres and the Musée Magnelli in Vallauris.