Astier de Villatte has been making handmade ceramics in Paris since 1996, following in the tradition of the great 18th century Parisian ceramic studios. The most famous Parisian manufacturer, Pont-aux-Choux, produced thousands of ceramic pieces in the 18th Century, right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, with other ceramic studios subsequently prospering in the Paris region in the 19th century. Successor to these famous manufacturers, Astier de Villatte is now the one and only major studio to keep the tradition of artisanal ceramic production in Paris alive. In 2008 a distinct addition was made to the output of Astier de Villatte in a collaboration with one of Takasago’s star perfumers, Françoise Caron, and her team of young perfumers. The result is a collection of an Eaux de Cologne, hand care products and our favorite: 33 scented vegetable-wax candles, each with a delicate scent that is never overpowering. Delectable both unlit and burning, the candles are encased in effervescent glass pots as well as signature Astier de Villatte white ceramic goblets. In our eyes, this makes Astier de Villatte one of the most interesting modern brands through their extraordinary skill to reinterpret techniques and aesthetics from past.
The Astier de Villatte designers draw inspiration from the history of decorative arts, folk art, and abandoned objects found in skips. They long to create new and original pieces that appear to have always existed: imaginary witnesses to a Paris of dreams.
Without knowing anything about tableware, Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte founded Astier de Villatte with a group of siblings from the Astier de Villatte family and friends from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Together they imagined and made ‘objects of dreams’: furniture inspired by bits and bobs found on the pavement at night, by items unearthed at Emmaüs charity shops, the Vanves flea market and thrift stores.
Adapting the sculpting techniques they had learned at the École des Beaux Arts, they had fun creating everyday ceramic objects to decorate the table and home. The result was entirely original and exhilarating. The first collections were concocted with the Astier de Villatte family, in the parental home of Alexandre and Benoît Astier de Villatte. Before long, they moved to a basement studio in avenue Daumesnil. Ideas burgeoned, creative talents collided (sometimes fiercely), but the adventure had begun. They set up their first stand at the ‘Maison et Objet’ show in September 1996 and it was a mad, souk-like event. Orders flocked in from all over the world. Thereafter, Astier de Villatte pieces were sold directly from the studio and in a few ultra-Parisian stores.
Over the years the group disbanded. From then on, Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte were to steer the company’s destiny. With no advertising strategy, its reputation was built by word of mouth. Which brought them into the new century, when they finally came across the shop of their dreams in the year 2000 on the rue Saint-Honoré, close to the Palais Royal and the Louvre museum. With the eruption of the extraordinary store Pericoli and de Villatte were finally able to create an ideal environment in which they presented their incredible products.
In 2008 another milestone would occur, when the novelty scented dishwashing liquid propelled Astier de Villatte into the magical world of scented products. In collaboration with their associate, Emilie Mazeaud, and Françoise Caron, star perfumer at the Japanese fragrance company Takasago, they launched their Eaux de Cologne, hand care products and the first collection of scented candles, which took on the enchanting theme of an olfactory journey around the world. In the same year an fitting online environment was launched as the perfect digital match for the tremendous store.
We are thoroughly impressed with all the different elements making up the Astier de Villatte universe. With hopefully more to come in the future.
When in Paris make sure to visit the incredible Astier de Villatte boutique at 173 Rue Saint Honoré.
Enter the wonderful online world of Astier de Villatte here