|Plate: "La Provence" from 1951||more|
Francis Crociani (1929) decorated this plate in 1951 at the Cerenne workshop (see also the Vallauris section of the website) of Charles René Roger Neveux. In the middle of the plate the Cerenne back stamp is still slightly visible. This atelier was one of the bigger ceramic workshops in Vallauris in the 1950's and employed up to 40 people, of which 15 were decorators. Ce(ramique)ren(é)ne(veux)
In 1959, Francis and Yvonne Crociani founded their own workshop: "La Pignate" ("the potter" in provencal dialect). Many ceramic students (most from the ceramic school Jules-Ferry of Cannes) were allowed to get their practice here.
In 1962 Francis bought a potter's wheel from the Artibou workshop in Aspremont, which was run by the Swiss couple, L. & Ed. Zurlinden, who probably stopped their ceramic activity at that time. In 2006 a part of their files (designs, sketches, notes on glazes and chemicals) was found in Vevey, Switzerland, neatly organized in 2 folders. In one of these folders was this postcard. In september 2009 I found 2 plates decorated by Crociani and it is a pleasure to show one of them here. You can also see both plates and signatures in the Vallauris section.
La Pignate closed in 1989.
Translation of the postcard:
Wednesday 17th of July 62
"Sir, I am the potter, who bought the (potter's) wheel, it has been mounted, perfect. I write you concerning the plaster moulds, which I asked you to keep until the end of august. I do not think, I have the possibility to buy them all (from you). Certainly 4 or 5, but not more. So when you find an amateur, leave them (to him). At the end of august I will give you a phone call and you can tell me if 4 or 5 are left. Try to put an ad at the factory De La Terre in Vallauris. This is the place where most people pass by. See you soon, please receive, Sir, my respectful regards, Francis".