A potter whose earliest creations followed the tradition of Japanese and Korean wares, André Metthey began to use flambé glazes in 1900. He first exhibited his work in 1901. Two years later, he settled in a small house at Asnieres (a suburb of Paris), where he built a kiln and prepared his own clay and glazes. He is shown here in a portrait by Jean Plumet. André Metthey was born in Laignes (Cote d'Or) in 1871. Having been apprenticed at age 14 to a stonemason and later studying with a plaster modeler, it is not surprising that Metthey came to adopt the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, which viewed craftsmen as equal in stature to painters and sculptors. He moved with his family to Paris at the age of 15 and soon, after the death of his father, had to interrupt his studies to support his mother and siblings.
Metthey entered military service, where his interest in art was undiminished. While stationed in Auxerre (located between Paris and Dijon), he studied drawing and became interested in ceramics after reading Edouard Garnier's Traite de Ceramique. The first ten years after his release from the military were marked by financial difficulties and a search for technical expertise.
Abandoning Japonism and Art Nouveau, Metthey later turmed to Persian-inspired wares and tin-glazed earthenware decorated with designs by Fauve painters including Redon, Rouault, Matisse, Bonnard, Vlaminck, and Derain, all of whom were then controversial for their use of brutal colors. More than 100 of these collaborative works were presented at the Salon d'Automne of 1907.