Homegirl London pays homage to Astier de Villatte. This Paris based business is actually the last remaining ceramics company left in the city. They make an eclectic collection of practical products with a quirky, slightly surreal edge – ceramics (dinner sets), cutlery sets, furniture, stationery and perfumed range which includes scented candles. Astier de Villatte was founded up by Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte who are the designers. They work hard to keep artisan traditions alive – perfumery, typesetting and ancient incense making. I caught up with the duo to find out more.
Selection of Products
Meet the Astier de Villatte Designers
The owners, Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli met while studying at College Beaux Arts in Paris. Their business collaboration was launched in 1996, they tell me – “We began by knowing next to nothing about tableware. Putting to use the sculpture techniques we learned at the school of Beaux Arts we created every-day objects and ceramics for the table and home. Our first collection was concocted at home. Before long we took a stand at ‘Maison et Objet’ (Paris trade show) and soon orders flew in from around the world.”
Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte
In 2000 they opened the Astier de Villatte flagship boutique, on 173 Rue Saint Honoré. They also have a workshop in Boulevard Masséna where the orders for worldwide clients are made.
In 2008, along with their close associate, the stylist Emily Mazeaud, they created their first collection of scented products. Today, the business employs almost fifty people and twenty five of these are artisans making the products.
View the Astier de Villatte Collection
Astier de Villatte pays great attention to detail, especially for their ceramic pieces. They tell me – “Manufacturing and the quality of our materials are imperative to the brand. The manufacturing has been developed and perfected by the team using ancestral molding and stamping techniques which have largely fallen by the way-side since the introduction of industrial manufacturing. It takes about two weeks to complete the manufacture of a cup.” The ceramic collection includes a selection of dinner sets and tableware plus some decorative objects. The pieces are predominantly white with interesting edging and details. On the quirky side you’ll find the famous Snoopy character and a couple of his pals – Charlie Brown and Woodstock appearing on the ceramics. They also make cultery sets in seven ranges with different finishes.
Ceramics and Cultery Set
They began making stationery in 2000 which started with the Ma Vie Journal. This journal is very unique, they tell me – “It is the only diary in the world that is typeset and we work with Monsieur Huin, France’s last typesetter.” Their stationery offering includes – journals, address books and the yearly diary.
They have a line of perfumed products – “Emilie Mazeaud looks after this venture and works with world-renowned perfumer Françoise Caron and the master perfumers at the Takasago Lab in Paris.” The perfumed products include – hand cream, body lotion, dishwashing liquid, scented candles, cologne and scented erasers. In terms of the incense, it is created on the island of Awaji, due to its favourable climate; this is the place where one finds the best incense in the world. They tell me – “The process of making incense has been passed from father to son, for over a thousand years by the Koh-shis or Masters of Aromas.”
Candle and Incense
You can also buy a selection of furniture which includes display units, seating, storage and tables and consoles.
Buy Astier de Villatte Products
For more information view the Astier de Villatte Website.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Astier de Villatte, picture of the owners by Sophie Delaporte. Thanks: Ivan Pericoli, Benoît Astier de Villatte and Chloe Weguelin.