jean- françois fouilhoux
(born in 1947)
“I write in the clay”
His childhood was spent in Corbeil, Essonne, where he was born in 1947. At the age of 13, 14, his parents sent him to spend his free time with a ceramist, Daniel Cadot, a former Applied Arts graduate. He can only urge his student to follow the same path as him.
At 16, Jean-François Fouillhoux entered the School of Applied Arts. At 20, he graduated. There, he discovered a passion for modeling, sculpture, drawing: his master, Roger Plin, appointed to the Beaux-arts, trained a few students there, but Jean-François Fouilhoux, himself, decided to be a ceramist. . In the summer, in Indre, in Gargilesse, he meets ceramicist Guy Baudat: “I’ve always been in the ceramic world,” he says.
Dividing his time between work at school and a job as a model maker, he discovered a book on Chinese ceramics, a Massin edition, where large vases decorated with bamboo inspired his calligraphy decorations. One of his teachers, Pierre Roulot, then hired him to discover the recent donation of Chinese ceramics made by Mr. Calmann to the Guimet Museum.
Then and there, Jean-François Fouilhoux, in 1969, at the age of 22, stops in front of the celadons. These stoneware of Chinese tradition: during a reduction firing, their cover, containing a little iron oxide, takes on shades between blue and green, and permeates a subdued light. A vase, adorned with a tiger in relief, is forever inscribed in his memory as a ceramist: “this tiger coated with celadon, jellified, as if caught in a heavy coat of green amber”. Jean-François Fouilhoux has just discovered that “ceramics are not the design, but the” material “itself, the molten rock”. The piece “with the tiger” will remain for him, the reference: “How many times, leaving my car badly parked in front of the Guimet museum, I ran to the window to put a test of enamel against the window, then a another, as close as possible to the beast, to judge my progress, desperate not to be able to keep a mental image of the sensations felt, of these very particular reflections”.