21, rue de Saillé
21, rue de Saillé
The destiny of this draughtsman, painter, sculptor and decorator was to be a ceramist.
As a teenager, he was apprenticed to the Deck brothers, earthenware manufacturers and enamellers in Vaugirard. He began as a potter-turner before becoming head of the porcelain painters' workshop. Lachenal worked for ten years with Théodore Deck, with whom he signed ceramic decorations.
He then set up his own business with a ceramist from Guingamp, Anna Le Cioarec, who became his wife in 1880. The couple lived in Châtillon in a one hectare property at 21 rue du Ponceau.
His early career was entirely devoted to Rhodes, Isnik and Koupathcha type dishes, in memory of his apprenticeship with Deck. Free from all influence, he created a velvety or frosted enamel using an electrolytic metal-ceramic process.
Due to the immediate success of his work, orders poured in. He trained his sons, Agnès de Frumerie and an orphan, Émile Decœur (with whom he was associated for a while). Edmond Lachenal then embarked on imitating nature (batrachians, various animals) and on art nouveau, a field in which he excelled. If his forms remain curious, the colours of his enamels are lively and powerful and often surprise by their great purity. The blues are particularly successful and applied to large surfaces with regularity.
Edmond Lachenal is one of the masters who contributed to the revival of ceramics at the end of the 19th century. He was innovative in his manufacturing processes as well as in the realisation of shapes and decorations. It was to him that Auguste Rodin called to sculpt the head of La Douleur and the famous Balzac in stoneware.
At the beginning of the 20th century Lachenal devoted himself to dramatic art. His sons Jean-Jacques and Raoul then took over the workshop in keeping with the family tradition.