It took a recent visit to one of our favorite Paris shops to realize that despite using their products all the time we've never written about them. Astier de Villatte is a 15 year old lifestyle powerhouse founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli. Their unique take on ceramics, paper goods, perfumes, candles, furniture, silverware, glassware and more are created in a Bastille workshop that used to house Napolean's silversmith.
They are perhaps best known for their 18th- and 19th-century inspired handmade ceramics, many of which are designed with the equally multi-talented French artist Nathalie Lété. Their team of twenty ceramicists (perhaps the biggest in Paris) makes pottery the way Benoît's father taught him and his siblings. Starting with black Terracotta, each piece is finished with a milky glaze that amplifies the unique character of the clay, celebrating its imperfections and ensuring that no two pieces are exactly alike.
A similar nod to the past styles and methods can be found in many of their other products, from scented erasers to the only hand-typeset agenda in the world. The two-page week layout also includes an important 8th day that changes each week, named after some of their favorite foods (Cassouletday anyone?). Created with a vintage printing press, the new 2012 agendas feature the same signature mosaic pattern and bright colors but now include the Astier team's insider tips on their favorite venues in New York as well as Paris. Studiohomme has a great video visiting Astier de Villate's print and ceramic workshops:
The candle market is certainly a saturated one, but quality shines through in these glass or ceramic votives with vegetable wax candles, often named for places that inspire olfactory overload: Alcatraz, Algiers, Honolulu and Naples among them. Recent additions include a series made in conjunction with Françoise Caron and the Japan-based fragrance company, Takasago: Cabourg, Quebec, Broadway, Zermatt and Yakushima. We've had the soda-inspired "Broadway" scent burning in the office for the last week—a nice way to rid the office from the smell of its new lunchtime infatuation with the Schnipper's Chicken Club sandwich.
Also new this fall is a collaboration with New York-based designer John Derian. The artist worked mostly on small plates, painting them with his signature menagerie of birds and insects, as well as sweetheart symbols and everyday household items. The John Derian collection for Astier de Villatte, as well as many other of their products, are available at his NYC boutique.
Astier de Villatte has a few shops in Paris, is available on their site and at stores in many countries. Check their site for details.
See more of our favorite items in the gallery below.