Hand crafted in our French Studio in Vallauris
ABOUT THE ARTIST
An Artistic Ceramic journey
Olivia Cognet is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Nice, south of France.
An accomplished accessory designer for luxury fashion brands such as Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel, Carven, Isabel Marant... Olivia expanded her creative world to the wonders of clay.
It is with the same passion and taste for beautiful design that she applies her technical mastery to couture and ceramic art.
In both, her artistic vision remains one and the same: creating art incorporating a sensual mix of modern brutalism and absolute femininity.
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” - Rumi
OLIVIA COGNET’S NEW STUDIO IN VALLAURIS,
IN ROGER CAPRON’S LEGENDARY DEN
After six years in Los Angeles, where she learned to model clay, Olivia Cognet has returned to her native South of France to pursue her work as a ceramic artist, widely acclaimed internationally. Panoramic murals, sculpture–lamps, mirrors and vases in organic forms, the young artist is developing a new vocabulary drawn from the cultural history of the Côte d’Azur as well as California. “Here I feel more inspired than ever. I hope to be able to make the monumental pieces that I dream of,” she said a few months ago when moving to Vallauris, historic fiefdom of potters on the Côte d’Azur.
Brought up in Nice, where she trained at the Villa Arson, the ceramic artist returned to Vallauris in Spring 2021 for a residency in the studio next to the Musée de la Poterie. As a child, she loved to stroll through the narrow streets of the village, looking at the window displays of coloured pottery that outlined a powerful, expressive world. She also recalls the thrill of seeing pieces by the masters of modern art (Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró) exhibited in the region’s museums. And the mural sculptures that she loved, on the facades of buildings in Nice.
Among the figures who have elevated pottery to an artform, for Olivia Cognet one name surpasses all others, that of Roger Capron. Celebrated around the world, one of the best-known French ceramicists of the 20th century, Capron (1922–2006) played an important role on the creative stage of Vallauris, along with the likes of Robert Picault and Jean Derval. From earthenware tiles to monumental frescoes, including that of the Cannes ferry terminal, via a profusion of decorative objects, Capron explored his field in every detail. A passionate, multi-faceted approach that Olivia Cognet recognises in herself, sensitive to the abstract forms and Mediterranean patterns of inspiration seen in the work of the master of the 1960s and ‘70s.
Olivia Cognet pursues this creative lineage in Roger Capron’s old labyrinthine studio, which she bought and renovated before recently moving in to. A legendary space in the centre of Vallauris, inaugurated by the celebrated ceramicist in the 1960s. In front of the entrance, visitors are welcomed by a stoneware bas-relief in abstract form sculpted in the ground by Capron himself. Inside, the vast, white concrete space, where the contemporary touch of its new owner can be seen, has kept its high ceiling. Staircases in cement that evoke the milky volutes of Jacques Couëlle, another of Olivia Cognet’s major influences, lead to the patio. Bright, and adorned with Mediterranean plants, this space contains a built-in table and a barbecue in ceramic tiles designed by Roger Capron. A showroom is to be added in the future.
Despite the renovation works undertaken, the soul of this place so dear to Roger Capron remains intact. “The feeling of being in his space inspires me constantly,” admits Olivia Cognet, who also enjoys the daily contact with the community of potters in Vallauris, as well as the highly gifted craftspeople (ceramicists, metalworkers, marble workers, glassblowers, etc.) that populate the region. The sumptuous Riviera, unfailing source of inspiration for Roger Capron yesterday and Olivia Cognet today.