Astoul, Eric

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Year of birth: 
Casablanca / Morocco
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Eric Astoul was born in 1954 in Casablanca (Morocco) His father was a sales representative and painter in his spare time, and his mother was a shopkeeper. Very quickly he wanted to be a potter, and at the age of 17 he enrolled in a school for moulders in Castelnaudary (FR). With his diploma in hand, he travelled the roads of France, England and Africa for five years, working in various workshops. He was employed by Digan in La Borne for 3 years. In the 70's, La Borne was an important place for ceramics where pottery was reinvented. At the age of 27 he created his first anagama kiln. He has been one of the most recognised potters in La Borne, whether his pieces are utilitarian or sculptural (text Galerie Prisme).

Eric Astoul infuses his sculptures with the essence of ancient and modern earthenware he has encountered along his travels in France, England, Japan, and Africa. In 1982 he settled in the ceramicists’ community of La Borne in central France, known for its distinct stoneware ceramics (grès). There, he fires each piece for a period of eight days in his wood­burning Anagama kiln. While respecting La Borne’s historical stature as a center of wood and sandstone fired ceramics, Astoul turns tradition on its head with his heavily textured pieces. His signature strokes and dense patterns reveal the work of a master’s hand. His work is found in the collections of the Musée National Adrien­ Dubouché (Limoges, France), the Musée National de la céramique (Sèvres, France), the Ceramics Museum (Frechen, Germany), the Prinz Regentenstr Museum (Munich, Germany) among other institutions. He has also participated in solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and the United States (text Maison Gerard New York).

Images: Eric Astoul, portrait (source MG Galerie); Eric in his workshop (source Galerie Prisme); three objects (source Pinterest).