There was alchemy in the air when photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron met designer Martine Bedin. Then, turning the world completely on its head, La Porcelaine de Sèvres accepted this improbable alliance of two creative techniques, and a collaborative, singular work was born: À petits pas, a collection of six decorated vases.
The alchemy continued in further meetings between artists and craftsmen, and, from the project's conception, and all through its development, experiences and know-how were shared in fruitful exchanges. On one face of the vase imagined by Martine, a photograph of a flower, taken by Jeannette, is delicately painted by hand....
Alchemy of meetings, alchemy of techniques too, in which all the possibles are born — especially art and poetry. Martine and Jeannette's creations transport us into a universe that is dreamlike, where memories are light and sharp. Every vase of soft paste porcelain is given a different decoration, of painted flowers, like the evanescent prints of old bouquets, recalling a past when the flowers were real.
As in a travel invitation, the works of Martine and Jeannette recall memories of the place and the history of Sèvres. Martine has created six new vases, each with an identical oval matrix. She calls it "a kind of archetype". Each is topped with a different neck. Five of them adopt in miniature various emblematic forms from the heritage of Sèvres. They are from the Nerville D vase, The Aubert 5 vase, the Jatte de Damascus, the Gourgouli and the Decoeur 33. Each seem to grow out of the central element as if flirting with history. The neck of the sixth vase is different, based on a shape created by Martine Bedin herself. These six works which enrich the repertoire of Sèvres, are as much citations to the past as they are a twinkling-eyed wink at our heritage.
Finally, so that the story can continue, Martine offers up her new vase forms to the imagination of other invited artists, for further decoration.
Oscillating between past and present, Martine Bedin and Jeannette Montgomery Barron's vases bring a touch of fresh air to this sort of creation where the frontiers between arts are abolished. Congratulations to both women. They have offered us a beautiful example of poetry and delicacy.