English, est. 1793
Urn-shaped vase, c. 1905
35.4 x 12.7 x 10.7 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; The Frank Evison Collection; Gift of The City of Winnipeg
Louis Marc Solon (1835–1913) was one of several potters who left France during the Franco-Prussian War to find employment in British factories. Solon left the Sèvres factory in France for Stoke-on-Trent, bringing with him the pâte-sur-pâte technique of decoration of which he was the leading master and key factor behind its success in England. Securing a position at Minton, he trained a number of assistants including the talented Albion Birks who is responsible for these magnificent vases. The pâte-sur-pâte technique involves the gradual, layered application of slip (semi-liquid clay). Once the design is built up, it is refined through carving before firing. The delicate contrast between the white design elements, at times translucent, against the coloured ground is extremely elegant and luxurious.