Abbé Pierre Pacton
Gnarled Root, c. 1900
6.69h x 6.30w in
Parish priest turned master potter, Pierre Pacton (1856-1938) lived in the town of Arquian, in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, the heart of one of the most important pottery areas in France. Over the centuries, Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye has attracted craftsmen with its high quality clay. One of the artists drawn to the region was sculptor Jean Carriés, who moved there in 1888. Abbé Pacton was amongst a number of notable artists who were greatly inspired by the magnificent creations of Carriés. In 1898 Pacton set up shop in a disused pottery at Noisette in the village. He learned basic techniques from local potters, one of them being Eugéne Lion. The work Abbé Pacton created reflected the influence of Japanese stoneware, as well as traditional utilitarian pottery of Puisaye. He created remarkable organic forms, favoring a restricted palette of earthy colors like brown, beige, ochre, and green. Some of his work featured zoomorphic forms, such as monstrous fish, monkeys, lizards, and frogs.
Pacton produced little and was the only member of the Ecole de Carriès who never participated in exhibitions, preferring to offer his creations to collector's who visited the small museum in his presbytery. Though he did not participate in exhibitions with his fellow potters, he maintained excellent relations with the group, particularly with Émile Grittel, whom he corresponded with regularly.