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Nouvelles Formes

Pierre Charpin à Sèvres

It was not until he had completed his studies at the Beaux-Arts that Pierre Charpin turned to design. Since working in Milan in 1993-94 in the workshop of George Sowden, founding member along with Ettore Sottsass of the Memphis group, he has returned to France where he has launched several research projects involving furniture, glass and ceramics. At the same time, he has worked for different design houses, such as Alessi, Venini, Montina and Post Design, while also teaching at the Reims College of Art and Design. Chapin’s creations are characterised by their formal sobriety and the harmony that they exude. His artistic approach, close to that of a sculptor, gives rise to objects imprinted with a high plasticity that suggest a more sensorial than structural approach. Beyond the apparent simplicity of the forms, the design of his works incorporates playful, even humorous aspects.

The Manufacture nationale de Sèvres commissioned Pierre Charpin to enhance their collection of “forms”, a vast stock of mould forms that dates back to the middle of the 18th century and boasts an impressive number of pieces. This collection, which has not been released since the 1950s, is thus part of the tradition of the factory to gather a host of models that other artists can work from. This proved to be a delicate undertaking, which resulted in the Vase Charpin, available in four sizes and accompanied by the Coupe Charpin. Their silhouette, at first sight so simple and elementary, is that of a downward narrowing cylinder, the mouth of which is encircled by the fine border of a concave lid, leaving a smaller opening. From these “new forms”, Charpin has also created the Vase Ruban, available in a limited series and decorated with three different designs featuring ribbons with more or less sinuous contours.

“Going for the essential, seeking the essence of forms, without implying a search for neutrality or, even less so, for banality. To be Sèvres! To design forms that are present, generous in their volumes, their proportions, their elegance, as well as discreet, without any excessive outlines, with very few details and a fluid volumetry that gives free rein to light.”

— Pierre Charpin


In collaboration with:
  • Manufacture nationale de Sèvres