Wit, whimsy and colour are the hallmarks of the delightful pieces by French ceramicist and artist Marguerite ‘Guidette’ Carbonell (1910-2008). Her ceramics, which include a plethora of hand-painted tiles and garden sculptures, have been under the radar in recent years, until they were latterly photographed by Architectural Digest at the artist’s home. A renewed appreciation for craftsmanship, colour and characterful design has now put her work back in the spotlight, not least because her bright pieces, inspired by folklore, the natural world and her Mediterranean roots, seem to represent a dynamic joie de vivre that perhaps chimes with the current mood of maximalist, colourful interiors.
‘Ceramicist yes, but artist above all’
Marguerite studied art at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in the 1920s and her work first came to prominence in 1928 when she exhibited alongside other notable ceramicists of the time, including Paul Beyer, Emile Decoeur, Emile Lenoble and Jean Mayodon. By the 1940s and 1950s, her pieces had evolved to encompass decorative dishes and earthenware statues, each representative of her fertile imagination. In 2007, the artist was honoured with a retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, cementing her reputation as one of France’s most original twentieth century ceramicists.