Returning to the road in New Mexico in pursuit of making art.
The Parisian company's handmade ceramics strike a perfect balance of Old World and contemporary.
THOUGH THEY’RE WHITE as the driven snow, Astier de Villatte ceramics are actually made with a black terracotta — which gives them their signature earthy sumptuousness — and then glazed the color of chalk. Handmade in Paris by the most skilled Tibetan artisans, the company’s offerings are inspired by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century design, and include everything from star-shaped dessert plates to candlesticks in the form of birds. These simple white vases are truly timeless, appearing both ancient Hellenistic and alluringly contemporary.
Astier de Villatte was founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli in 1996, and it is operated out of a workshop that used to belong to Napoleon’s silversmith. You might know the pair best from their wildly popular incense sticks, which feature scents such as dried hay, myrrh, and “white flowers carried on the warm breeze.” Their offerings also include candles, fragrances, and even — somewhat improbably — dish soap. But their company’s foundation will always be these tactile terracotta ceramics, which transform everyday butter dishes, cake stands, soup plates, and, of course, long white vases, into objects of great meaning and feeling.
Alex Frank is a contributing editor at Departures. Based in Manhattan, Frank previously worked at Vogue.com as deputy culture editor. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Pitchfork, New York Magazine, Fantastic Man, and the Village Voice.
Nacho Alegre is a photographer, publisher, and creative director based in Barcelona. After studying law, Nacho became a photographer shooting mostly campaigns and editorials. In 2008 he co-founded Apartamento magazine with Omar Sosa and Marco Velardi. There, he acts as a publisher and creative director. Apartamento is widely recognized as today’s most influential interiors magazine. International, well-designed, and simply written it is an indispensable resource for individuals who are passionate about the way they live. In 2018 Apartamento Studios was established as a creative agency. With offices in Barcelona and New York City and satellite studios in Berlin and Milan, the agency is the result of more than ten years’ worth of insights gained from working in the creative industries and publishing.
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