Accolay Pottery

Biography

1944 - 1989

In 1944 four friends leave Paris to escape from obligatory war-time work for Germany.They enrolled at the professional college of ceramics in Cluny where Alexandre Kostanda teaches them the art of Pottery. They start with making ceramic buttons for their own use. At the end of the 1945 Christian Dior creates his Maison de Couture and contacts Andre Boutaud and his friends asking them to make buttons for his new collection along with brooches and pieces of jewellery. The four young apprentices made around 300 pieces.

It could have been a one off order but luckily the fashion magazines published Christian Dior's new collection and after the war ceramic buttons became very much a fashion item. As success came, they decided to found a collective and settled on the 26th of October 1945 in an old unused factory in the Village of Accolay in the Yonne department of Burgundy. In 1946 more than 3000 ceramic buttons and jewellery were leaving the factory. In 1948 fashion changed and they started making larger ceramics, from decorative ornamental pieces to photo frames, fruit baskets and small ceramic sculptures.

A large part of the population of the village of Accolay would work in the studios and in the sales department. Service stations on the road to the South of France that were selling their ceramics were becoming more and more numerous. This success continued well into the 1970s, up until the petrol crisis when these roads were less and less frequented.

Boutaud died in 1983 and production ended in 1989.

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