Alexandre Kostanda

Kostanda (Dec 1921 - Nov 2007) was born in Poland of Russian parents. The family emigrated to Lorraine in France, where his mother Irene worked as a decorator in a porcelain factory.  They then moved to Vallauris, where his mother worked at Louis Giraud's workshop.  Alexandre joined the company as an apprentice from 1936-38.  After the war he taught pottery at the Longchamps Pottery Training Section near Dijon and at the School of Decorative Arts in Beaune.  He also had his own studio at Cluny and it was here that he trained the four young men who were to form the Accolay Pottery company - Dangon, Rodet, Palais and Boutaud.  He returned to Vallauris in 1949 to run the Giraud pottery until he opened his own studio in 1953.  

His work often has a rustic appearance and he used clay from Cluny mixed with local Vallauris earth. He had exceptional technical expertise.  Kostanda was instrumental in organising the ceramic shows, now known as the Vallauris Biennale. His son Alexis is also a potter.