As artisanal skills go, the world of ceramics is one of my favourites to peer into, and it’s as much because I know I’d be as useless as Demi Moore if I were plonked in front of a potter’s wheel as it is about the beauty of the craft itself. Whatever admiration I have for potters has just been magnified tenfold by this wonderful short film by North Sea Air about French ceramic brand Astier de Villatte. Founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli 18 years ago, the pair pride themselves on their traditionally-inspired handmade ceramics, and the authentic olde-worlde aesthetic that inspires everything they do.
It’s pure good fortune that they stumbled across independent creative agency North Sea Air, the New York and Edinburgh-based company who created this stunning 15 minute short film for them. North Sea Air’s client list has a similar tendency towards artisanship, including in the mix whisky distilleries, perfumers and puppet makers, a purer list of true artisans than I’ve ever seen. As such, they’re an agency incredibly well-qualified to do justice to every aspect of Astier de Villatte’s process. The film is littered with shots that might have been photographs in another life, and provides a picturesque and carefully tailored insight into the brand. Lovely stuff.