Virot, Camille

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Year of birth: 
Calmontier near Vesoul (Haute Saône)
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Camille Virot is born in Calmontier near Vesoul (Haute Saône) in 1947. Camille Virot began in 1967/68 his studies in the architecture studio of the École Régionale des Beaux-Arts et Arts Appliqués in Besançon. From 1968 onwards he settled his ceramics studio. He then spent a couple of years as a volunteer teacher in Africa (Mali and Nigeria), which greatly influenced his future work. He felt inspired to study ceramics after having seen the work of Daniel de Montmollin and René Ben Lisa in 1970, and pursued his interest at the École Municipale des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg. The following year, he began making raku and set up a studio in La Roche-giron, Banon, Haute-Provence in 1972. Virot adopted the technique of raku, which originally developed in Japan in the 16th century and is intimately linked to the tea ceremony. He incorporates elements of different materials such as concrete, glass fragments and pottery shards into his work. He has taught in art schools since the mid-1970's, and in 1985, Virot and his wife created the Dossiers d'Argile, a publication devoted to reflections on living ceramics (text partly: Erskine Hall & Coe, London).

Pictures: portrait of Camille Virot, around 1986 (source Brunhammer); portrait of Camille Virot, around 1991 (source Terre 6me Biennale 1991 Chateauroux); portrait in black/white (source Erskine Hall & Coe); object Bracelet (courtesy Galerie de l'Ancienne Poste - photographer Georges Meguerditchian); Boite (courtesy Galerie de l 'Ancienne Poste).

Work of the artist: 

"Je considère mon travail comme celui d'un "sculpteur figuratif" dans le sense où il tente de représenter des objets, bois et boîtes, ou des fragments de nature, roches, mouvements, saisons..." (text in Brunhammer).

Raku fired and stoneware vessels, objects and sculpture; from the mid-1970s worked on raku firing, irregularly built and cut bowls and beaker forms with thick monochrome stained glazes, sometimes with touches of coloured whisked slip; also roughly hand-built lidded box vessels; increasingly free handling of the vessel theme, bowls built into crusty panels or baked into grogged material during firing; since the 1990s house and block sculpture; most recently also vessels and vases in cast porcelain (text: Thormann 2013).

  • Brunhammer, Yvonne  a.o., Terres de France, quelques visages céramique, 1986.
  • Viot, Jean-Pierre, a.o. Catalogue Terre 6 ème Biennale de Ceramique Contemporaine 1991, Chateauroux, 1991.
  • Salmon, Béatrice, Céramiques XXe Siècle, 2006.
  • Thormann, Olaf, Gefäss/Skulptur - Vessel/Sculpture, Grassi Museum Leipzig (DE) 2013.