Clément Massier

French ceramicist Clément Massier, considered as one of the main creators of iridescence in ceramics, was born into a ceramics-producing family and took an early interest in the business. As early as age 12 he was focussed on the work of Gandolfo Gaetano, an employee of his family’s, who introduced enamelling techniques to the Massier firm. After an extended period of study, work and travel, he re-located his part of the family firm to Golfe-Juan, Alpes Maritime, France, in 1884. There he began producing iridescent glazes from silver and copper oxide, influenced by Hispano-Moresque-influenced pottery in a smoky kiln, especially after the arrival Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer in 1887. Lévy-Dhumer both collected Hispano-Moresque ceramics and expanded Massier’s breadth of glazes and techniques. With Lévy-Dhumer’s collaboration Massier introduced fiery luster glazes enriched with etching and painting, on a variety of forms ranging from strongly individualistic handwork to more uniform slip-cast work. Massier continued to explore and expand their work in luster glazes long after Lévy-Dhumer’s departure from the firm in 1896 for an elite international clientele. In 1897 Massier’s factory employed 65 workers.
His work was rewarded by a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1889. In 1898 he presented fifteen pieces with metallic lustre at the Salon of the Society of French Artists.

Works associated with this person or group

  • Grand Seascape with Trees Vase, c. 1900

    Vase of tall ovoid section with “pinched” ends, painted and glazed with iridescent copper metal oxides in a landscape with trees, water and sunsiridescent glaze