Rogar Capron Bio

Roger Capron imbues his art with the spirit and flavor of Vallauris and the south of France. There is a whimsical quality to the artist’s work that can be seen to affect the most casual observer.

Capron was born in Paris in 1922. After graduating from the Ecole des Arts Appliques in Paris he eventually became a professor at the school. He moved to Vallauris in 1947, where, with his friends Robert Picault and Jean Derval, he produced his first ceramic works of art. Since Roman times, Vallauris has been known as one of the most important centers for ceramics production in Europe. In order to focus on his own designs, he purchased a factory in Vallauris, which produced ceramic items for the home. It was in 1955 that he married his wife, Jacotte, who would become an integral part of his work.

Images of the summer in Vallauris are elicited in a variety of subject matter including ebullient women, sun, fish and birds. Capron befriended Pablo Picasso in Vallauris as they began their ceramic work there at approximately the same time. In the work of Capron we can see a variety of modern influences including the cubism of Picasso through to surrealism. Large forms appear unaffected by gravity and seem to float effortlessly past the viewer. The artist is able to piece together disparate elements and shapes in a single object with great success in eliciting a sense of movement and energy. His long time friend Jean-Paul often assists him in the construction of larger pieces.

One of the key elements in Capron’s work is his use of color. For a ceramist, the mixing and formulation of the pigment and glazes is as important as the creation of the form of the object. This is where the collaboration between the artist and his wife Jacotte is most important. Jacotte is responsible for the formulas of these pigments and glazes. These mixtures are kept secret since a certain color may become the signature of a particular artist or atelier. She may also advise the artist about the combination of various colors in a particular piece and how they may work together. Special techniques such as raku are employed to this end. Raku is an ancient Japanese technique involving the baking process where oxygen is removed in order to create certain colors and textures.