Jean Girel was born in Savoy in 1947 and as a 14 year-old boy learnt the potter's craft from a traditional potter. He studied Fine Arts in Mâcon and then went on to do a degree in visual arts in Paris. These studies led him to become, initially, an artist and a teacher of visual arts. It was on discovering Song ceramics that he found his vocation and in 1975 he decided to work exclusively in ceramics. His creative talents, which bring together western know-how and the Far East's age-long tradition of ceramics, give birth to recipes for clay mixtures and glazes, firing procedures and the invention of tools and instruments as and when his needs dictate. The kiln he now uses in his workshop near Cluny is the seventeenth that he has designed and built for his personal use. Jean Girel is a consultant in techniques and innovations for various manufacturers in France and abroad, and has been writing about ceramics since 1970. His work, which is collected by both amateurs and specialists, is to be found in many ceramic and modern art museums both in France and abroad. His outstanding knowledge and his desire to pass on his passion led him to being awarded the title of Master Craftsman in June 2000.


Master Craftsman, 2000.
It is the Minister of Culture who, on the recommendation of the National Council of Artists and Craftsmen, nominates the Master Craftsmen. Master Craftsmen are nominated for their exceptional skills and are vested with the duty to pass on their knowledge. Up till now there have been 56 Master Craftsmen nominated in France, two of whom are ceramicists : Pierre Fouquet (who died in 2003) and Jean Girel. An interesting comparison : Japan's Living National Treasures number 90.

Special mention at the Palissy Awards.

Free exhibition at the first Ob'art Show

Winner of the regional Artists and Craftsmen Awards
Gold medal winner at the Vallauris Biennial

Winner of the Art Workshop Exhibition, Paris



« Design Miami », Miami Beach, Pierre Marie Giraud, USA
« Design Miami/Basel », Basel, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, SWITZERLAND

« Design Miami », Miami Beach, Pierre Marie Giraud, USA
« Design Miami/Basel », Basel, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, SWITZERLAND

« Design Miami/Basel », Basel, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, SWITZERLAND
« Jean Girel », Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, Brussels, BELGIUM
« TEFAF Showcase », Maastricht, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, THE NETHERLANDS

« Darkside of Earth », Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, Brussels, BELGIUM
« Design Miami/Basel », Basel, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, SWITZERLAND

« Design Miami/Basel », Basel, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, SWITZERLAND
« Design Art London », London, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, UNITED KINGDOM

« Design Art London », London, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, UNITED KINGDOM

« Art Brussels », Brussels, Galerie Pierre Marie Giraud, BELGIUM

« Terres d'Asie », Chateau des Bouillants, Dammarie-les-Lys, FRANCE
« Du bronze au jade », National Palace Museum, Tapei, TAIWAN
« Retour de Taiwan », Galerie Arcanes, Paris, FRANCE

« Bowls », Giroussens, FRANCE
« Contemporary Ceramics », The Working Tool Centre, Troyes, FRANCE
« Celadon », Fondation Bernardaud, Limoges, FRANCE

Master and Student », Musée Romanèche-Thorins, Romanèche-Thorins, FRANCE

« Jean Girel », Galerie Tony Rocfort, Rennes, FRANCE
« Copper Red », Musée Bernard Palissy, St-Avit, FRANCE
« International Salon for Collectable Ceramics », Paris, FRANCE

« Above the Earth », Musée Faure, Aix-les-Bains, FRANCE.
« Jean Girel, Valérie Hermans », Galerie Geneviève Godar, Lille, FRANCE
« Contemporary Ceramics », Aulnay-sous-Bois, FRANCE
« Jean Girel, Valérie Hermans », Musée Faure, Aix-les-Bains, FRANCE

Public Collections

Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres, FRANCE

Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, FRANCE

Musée d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq , FRANCE

Musée Joseph Déchelette, Roanne, FRANCE

Le Musée des Ursulines, Mâcon, FRANCE

Musée Savoisien, Chambery, FRANCE

Musée Faure, Aix-les-Bains, FRANCE

Musée Municipal, Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, FRANCE.

Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain, Montpellier, FRANCE

Palace Elysee, Paris, FRANCE

Musée Bernard Palissy, Lacapelle-Biron, FRANCE

Musée Cinquantenaire, Brussels, BELGIUM

Ministry for Cultural Affairs, Brussels, BELGIUM

Fondation Baur, Geneva, SWITZERLAND

National Palace Museum, Tapei, TAIWAN


Known Private Collections

In France

Fina Gomez Collection

Alain Lesieutre Collection

Charles-Adrien Bueno Collection



In Switzerland

Charles Roth Collection


In Germany

Dr Thiemann Collection



Creation of the educational area of the « Celadon : Past and Present Ceramics » exhibition at the Fondation Bernardaud, Limoges, FRANCE

Re-creation of metallic glazes for the Applied Physics (Archeology) Research Centre, Université Bordeaux, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS), FRANCE

Study into the potential of local clay and basalt carried out for the Reunion Island authorities.

Artist's residency, Reunion Island : design of an autarkical ceramic piece

Glaze Symposium, Centre National de Formation aux Métiers de la Céramique (CNIFOP), St Amand en Puisaye, FRANCE

Firing in the main kiln at the Sevres factory, FRANCE

Design and realisation of the « Temmoku, the Song Black Pieces » exhibition at the Baur Foundation, Geneva, SWITZERLAND

Design and realisation of a pedagogical display "Ceramics from all Ages", Chambery Museum, Chambery, FRANCE

Making of the film "The four elements" (16 mm, 52') directed by Jean-Pierre Janssen

Symposium des écoles de céramique, Mâcon, FRANCE

Course management : Building wood-fired kilns; theory and practice of natural glazes, New Brunswick, CANADA

La Borne Symposium, La Borne, FRANCE


Structural Works

École élementaire Jean Moulin, Montmelian, FRANCE

Facade of the Banque de Savoie bank building, Annecy, FRANCE

Law Courts fountain, Albertville, FRANCE