I first met Sylvie Duriez at a pottery market in Marseille in the spring of 2007. She is a true artist, with little interest in sales or the hassles involved in exporting her work. Over the course of a few years and multiple visits to her studio, I’ve gotten to know Sylvie and discovered strategies to get her beautiful artwork back home for the Emilia Ceramics collection. If you ask my Sylvie-loving customers, however, I never seem to buy enough of Sylvie’s work… It always sells out so quickly! Sylvie’s painting technique is totally different from traditional Majolica. Instead of following specific and traditional designs, Sylvie paints freely, continuously changing her subjects and evolving her style. Her themes, from beautifully-painted floral bouquets to reclining French women, conjure up romantic images of fashionable Parisians and slow drives through the countryside of Provence. The subjects are not historic or monumental, but speak to the everyday and often fleeting moments to which we can all relate. Sylvie learned the ceramic craft from her mother, who is now retired but lives close by. She does the entire process herself, starting with the selection of clay and throwing each piece on the wheel. After a piece has been thrown and fired, Sylvie dips it in a base glaze. Once dry, she uses a sharp needle to sketch her drawing on the piece. She insists that she does not create a plan on paper first, nor does she copy a picture… she literally just goes to work with a needle, carving a very fine line through the base glaze. Then she uses mineral-based glazes to paint the piece in a soft, watercolor-like style. The finished product has a rustic, yet sophisticated and fluid affect. Each piece is like a magnificent watercolor painting, completely unique and telling its own individual story. I am always amazed by how much personality Sylvie is able to put into each one-of-a-kind piece.