The Art of the Vegetable
French sculptor Jean Paul Gourdon is a master at rendering organic shapes. Using a variety of pottery techniques and styles, this modern-day potter fashions both large-scale and smaller sculptures that usually touch upon themes of agrarian breauty: wild game, cattle and the harvested vegetable, to name a few. With Brent’s and Josh’s Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook coming out in a couple of weeks (May 13), the third volume in a series of books devoted to homegrown cooking, I wanted to celebrate the art of the vegetable. Jean Paul Gourdon’s vegetable sculptures seemed like the ideal way to do so. Most of his vegetable works are what’s known as faience – a French word referring to a matte, tin glaze over a buff earthenware body – a kind of pottery originally associated with Faenza in northern Italy. The bare, desaturated look is what reveals the true beauty of the shape.