Friday, August 1, 2008

The History of Pique Assiette

I've found two definitions of Pique Assiette online - "stolen from plate" and "one who eats from other plates". Pique Assiette is the art of taking broken shards of china, ceramic and pottery to recreate a beautiful useful object. It's mostly associated with the art of mosaics. Broken china jewelry is a form of Pique Assiette.

This type of art dates back to ancient times. It was quite popular in Cleopatra's time and the Victorians were great fans of the art. Raymond Edward Isidore of France is known as "The Father of Pique Assiette". He was a grave digger who collected all the beautiful pieces of broken china and pottery that he came across and use them throughout his home. By the time he died in 1964, he had covered every surface inside and outside of his house and even a small chapel that was located on his property.

I believe the link below is to photos of his work, though the captions are in French so I'm not positive. Even so, they are amazing photos of the art.


I'd love to learn more about the history of Pique Assiette so if you can add to what I have here, please post in the comment section.


ChezChani said...

Thanks for that information, very interesting. I briefly did mosaics and I admire them greatly, however it just never clicked for me. As always, I love your work.

henk said...

Hello Marjorie, I came along your post of August 1 about Picassiette. In French this means "the one who picks up (broken) plates. "Pic" = "to pick up" and "assiette" = "plate".
It was a nickname given to Raymond Isidore, who always when walking around, would collect pieces of glass etc, to use them to decorate his house and garden. The link shows pictures of the houese.
Many greetings, Henk van Es, Amsterdam

Marjorie said...

Thanks so much for the additional information, Henk! The photos are amazing.