Ernest Chaplet (1835 – 1909) French ceramicist and studio potter

Ernest Chaplet featured image
Ernest Chaplet featured image

Ernest Chaplet (1835 – 1909) was a French ceramicist, an early studio potter’ who mastered slip decoration, rediscovered stoneware, and conducted copper-red studies. From 1882 to 1885, he was the director of Charles Haviland’s workshop to study decorative processes, where he collaborated with artists such as Paul Gauguin. He eventually moved to Choisy-le-Roi, where he focused on porcelain glaze studies.

Biography

He was working at the Sevres ceramics factory since 1847, where he learned architecture, painting, and basic pottery techniques.

He worked for Laurin, a domestic pottery maker, from 1857 to 1874. In Bourg-la-Reine, he perfected barbotine on terracotta in 1871. He perfected the technique in 1875 at Haviland’s studio in Auteuil, near Paris.

  • Ernest Chaplet (French, Sèvres 1835–1909 Choisy-le-Roi) Square vase, ca. 1889
  • Vase ca. 1891 designed by Ernest Chaplet
  • Vase with rooster ca. 1884 for Haviland & Co designed by Ernest Chaplet
  • Tankard with man drinking from jug ca. 1885 Haviland & Co. under direction of Ernest Chaplet
  • Jug 1882 - 1886 Haviland & Co under the direction of Ernest Chaplet

He started applying Japanese and natural motifs to brown stoneware, a material he discovered in Normandy in 1881, in a Paris studio given to him by the Havilands.

Using moulds from Chaplet’s workshop, the Haviland factory in Limoges produced porcelain pieces in this style in 1884. In 1885, he started experimenting with the Chinese sang-de-boeuf glaze, first on stoneware and then on porcelain. He started working with Paul Gauguin in 1887 and relocated his studio to Choisy-le-Roi, where Emile Lenoble later studied. Chaplet was aware of the avant-garde and translated its ideas into ceramics. Blindness forced him to retire in 1905, and he destroyed all of his secrets.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Collections Online: British Museum. Collections Online | British Museum. (n.d.). https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIOG225589.

Ernest Chaplet artworks at the Met. metmuseum.org. (n.d.). https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!?q=Ernest%20Chaplet&perPage=20&sortBy=Relevance&offset=0&pageSize=0.

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