EXOTICISM AND NATURALISM AT THE SERVICE OF EARTHENWARE
Ever since 1948, the Jean Roger workshop has been creating art ceramics while respecting the earthenware know-how called "grand feu". Three generations have succeeded one another to this day, with the aim of renewing a creativity that draws its inspiration from nature and artistic heritage. Its enamels with bright and shimmering colors create a unique style of ceramics which requires high standards and precise gesture.
Historically located on Place des Vosges, in the Marais, the main production workshop has been moved to the South-West; the exclusively online sale offers a fall-winter collection with seasonal colors.
Before turning to ceramics, Jean Roger cultivated a passion for works of art, paintings and antique furniture. At 15 years old, after leaving school, he bought a Renaissance game table with his first salary. This was a good omen for the art lover. Ten years later, he decided to leave his native region, Lot-et-Garonne, to open a ceramics workshop in Paris in 1948. With meager savings, he moved to rue de la Verrerie in the Marais, on the sixth floor of the former hotel of the guards of Henri IV.
In 1952, he created the first candleholders, including the tulip candleholder, which was to become one of the company's signature models. It was through contact with his uncle, a theater decorator for the Opéra Garnier and the Casino de Paris, that Jean Roger discovered the atmosphere and euphoria of post-war Parisian nights, as evidenced by the operetta costumes featuring feathers, frills and silks.
FRENCH CLASSICISM AS THE MAIN SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
The lightness and the gaiety of the costumes! This is what he sought to find with earthenware, a thick and heavy material. Nourished by his passion for the arts, he regularly visits Parisian museums, notably the Louvre, the Musée des Arts décoratifs and the Musée Cernuschi, whose ceramic collections became his main sources of inspiration. This is how he revisited the legendary models of the Strasbourg factory, such as the choux service (1953) or the artichoke range (1954), which made him known to Parisian and foreign decorators. In 1952, he exhibited at the Ateliers d'Art de France, the forerunner of the Maison et Objet show, which earned him the praise of professionals and decorators who flocked to his stand.
Around 1960, the studio became an art ceramics workshop. At the same time, at the request of an American decorator, Jean revisits a frog modeled on the Chinese Kangxi frog. It quickly became a signature model.
A WORKSHOP FROM FATHER TO SON
In 1968, after studying at the Ecole du Louvre, Jean Roger's son Jean-Jacques came to work alongside his father and in 1978, they set up their workshop on the Place des Vosges.
Jean Roger retired in 1992, and his son continued the activity until 2007. Like his father, he was an art history enthusiast and, nourished by the know-how he has acquired over the years, he decided to take on the challenge of trompe-l'oeil decoration, which he applied to a wide range of lamps, vases and coffee tables. His imitations of lapis lazuli, fake marble, porphyry and malachite, at which he excelled, attracted a prestigious clientele such as the European and Middle Eastern royal courts, the French Embassies and the Parisian luxury hotels. His perfectionism led him to further explore enamels, their effects and a range of colors from Sèvres blue to crimson red and yellow. The New York designer John Boone admired his work and for more than ten years commissioned him to produce a range of ceramics which stood out thanks to the elegance of the colors and, in some cases, by their imposing size.
FROM 2010 TO TODAY: THE THIRD GENERATION
In 2010, Jean-Jacques' son François, then a sommelier, became convinced that this heritage and know-how must be perpetuated. He then trained with Thierry Fouquet, Jean-Jacques' turner, thus inaugurating the first generation of turners within the Roger family. Jean-Jacques taught François the rudiments of the trade and then François revived the models that became successes of the 50's and 60's.
For his creations, François imbued himself with the naturalism and exoticism characteristic of the Jean Roger style, as illustrated by the Folies Bergères and seaweed ranges. He also introduced matte white enamel for the first time, and extended the range of colors to include frogs, artichokes and tulip candlesticks. Decorating boutiques, interior designers and architects were enthusiastic, and demand grew in France, the United States and Northern Europe.
Between 2015 and 2020, his sisters Roseline and Marguerite, attracted by the revival of the workshop, joined their brother and it is now the three of them that produce and co-create the models of tomorrow.