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 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 1875 at Haviland’s studio in Auteuil, near Paris.
During 1886-1887, Gauguin worked with Chaplet to create pottery while he was in a financially challenging phase of his career. Gauguin brought his bold and colourful aesthetic to ceramics, while Chaplet brought his expertise in ceramic techniques and processes. He eventually moved to Choisy-le-Roi, where he focused on porcelain glaze studies.
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. 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.
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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