by Vanna Villa

A sculptor who renews shapes, a gifted colourist, a talented experimenter, an outstanding technician, a fine trend finder, a prominent animator of the profession through his union, a bold entrepreneur, Pol Chambost left his mark on his time. And, to say the least, his career path is surprising. Now known for the cheerfulness of his creations, he began his career as a funeral sculptor. Trained at the beginning of the 1920s at the École des Arts appliqués, he followed in the footsteps of his father, a sculptor too, in the family marble factory of Ivry-sur-Seine. In the 1930s, he became interested in ceramics, first as an alternative to stone in funeral art, then produced his first pieces of shapes around 1936 until he founded a real ceramics workshop. Once he had passed the experimental stage, and acquired a great technical mastery, Pol Chambost then equipped himself with modern equipment and began mass production. It produced up to 70 models in 6 months during this period. The success is such that some works will be exported to the United States.

One of the secrets of his success is that he has surrounded himself with talented people like Pierre Roulot, Paul Pouchol, Georges Jouve, Louise Edmée Chevallier, Luc Lanel, and many others. It is easy to understand, as a network man, that at the end of the war, he took on responsibilities in the Chambre syndicale des céramistes d’art and in the Salon des Ateliers d’Art where he will exhibit each year. This has enabled it to find new markets, such as the Department Stores market and in particular the Primavera brand managed by Colette Gueden for the Spring. After the war he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, at the Salon des Arts Ménagers. His collaboration with Paul Pouchol and Georges Jouve, in an era marked by Braque and Picasso, unleashed his creativity. His attraction to the art of the table and his sensitivity as a sculptor have made him an interpreter of both free and useful forms.

Even today, his style still inspires, as shown in Raf Simons’ autumn-winter 2009-2010 catalogue for Jil Sander. The rounded shapes of its jugs and vases seduce. Some of his coins are currently worth more than 40,000 euros. Proof that its rating continues to increase. This Saturday evening, his son told the public his story and presented about ten works. Although he spent most of his career in the Paris region, in Ivry sur Seine, he retired to the Dordogne, Saint-Jean d’Estissac, “to get closer to nature”. It is here that today the “Association of Friends of Pol Chambost”, which brings his work to life, has taken up residence. Moreover, on September 19 and 20, during the Heritage Days, it should be noted that his house in the Dordogne will be open to the public. You will be able to discover an important part of his work.

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