Hervé Rousseau

Born in Taverny in 1955
Apprenticeship with Augusto TOZZOLA in 1977
Moved to Boisbelle in 1981
Exhibitions, conferences and international demonstrations in Europe- France, Germany, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and Spain- in Japan, Australia, China and USA.
Public collections in France (Sèvres Museum, Decorative Art Museum, Paris, in Germany, UK and China.
From 2010 a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.

My main tool is the wood-fired kiln, a 3-chambered hill-climbing one built in 1986. Since, I have modified it several times, as my knowledge of wood-firing has increased. Hill-climbing kilns have been in use in La Borne since the 16th century, and using it my work has passed through a number of important phases.
I have chosen to work with rough stoneware, due to a passion for this traditional art form which makes everyday pieces giving them a sense of being alive, which comes from passing through fire. My perception was shaped by looking at old objects. I am always moved when I see the prints, the marks of the potter’s hands on a piece. It is now customary for me to leave a hand mark on all my pots.

Even when I am shaping a pot, I am already imagining loading into the kiln and how the firing will work upon the piece. This shaping is the other signature which makes the piece unique, and is intimately linked with firing, playing a dual and contradictory role of technical constraint whilst freeing the imagination. First of all I seek simplicity: to evoke rather than depict figuratively. My creative process is more than just finding amazing shapes, it’s about exploring to the fullest extent the visual language provided by the encounter with a material, in this case rough stoneware, and the specific technique of wood-firing. Just the correct hand movement allows to me to reveal what I was intending to show, to leave behind a handprint marking the encounter between hand and stoneware, whilst protecting the primordial role played by the clay itself.


Hervé Rousseau


Atelier de Boisbelle
18250 Henrichemont

00 33 (0)2 48 26 75 64
00 33 (0)6 68 99 19 70