It’s funny how a deep childhood frustration can become a creative manifesto later in life. Case in point: Maïa, the Paris-based porcelain painter. As a kid, she tried every night to decorate the table with her family’s finest, only to be told to return it to the cupboard for the everyday stuff.
Now, not only does Maïa set the table with beautiful, eye-popping designs whenever she likes, she’s made it her business to make sure that others do too!
“It’s a democratic way of bringing art into the home and a touch of fantasy to the table,” says the first-name-only artist who found a way to bridge the dishware divide between fabulous and functional by fusing the two in one.
Maïa started ten years ago with a teacup, and now hand paints everything from jars and dishes to bowls, vases and tea sets on porcelain made by one of the last remaining artisanal factories in Limoges, France.
Each made-to-measure creation is the result of a two-hour coffee klatch between artist and customer. “I need muses to create, and my clients are my muses,” says Maïa who meets her word-of-mouth clientele at her beautiful, porcelain-packed flat to find out about their preferred shapes, colors, pastimes, and even vacation destinations before crafting an original design
She not only creates entire services, but one-off compliments to your heirloom China as well. So if you have a vintage series that needs a modern centerpiece or an antique set that’s missing a few pieces, she can match everything from Puiforcat to Fornasetti.
Once you’ve agreed on your color, shape and motif, Maia then makes a sample free of charge (with no obligation to buy). If you give the okay, she returns to her atelier to seal colors in place in an 1200° C oven, then numbers and signs the designs with a fingerprint.
In addition to painting porcelain, Maïa is also a classical pianist (she’s giving a free, private concert on Nov 15 in Paris, and you’re invited to come, by the way). Unlike her musical performances, which are beautiful, but fleeting, porcelain allows Maïa to express her creativity in a much more tangible way.
It’s not hard to spot a melody in her artwork as well. Inspired by the paintings of Vuillard, Miró and Chagall, Maia uses colors and shapes to create a timeless visual rhythm. Expressive yet classical, fluid yet structured, it’s all about complementing contrasts for Maïa, be it on piano or porcelain.
Prices: Vases (60-300€), Tea Sets (75-120€), Plates (18-50€), Candy Dishes (98€)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: + 33 6 60 70 18 18
Shop: A selection of Maïa’s designs can be found at Galeries Lafayette Maison (Paris) and Nest Interiors (New York)