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Known for creating contoured, sensual forms in both her ceramic work and built environments, Valentine Schlegel remains one of the most sophisticated, albeit lesser-known, ceramicists of the 20th century. Born in Sète in 1925, Schlegel studied fine arts in Montpellier, but she did not discover ceramics until traveling to Paris in 1945. Inspired by her coastal homeland and the Mediterranean Sea, Schelgel crafted voluminous coil-formed and oven fired earthenware as well as wooden flatware, leather goods and plaster fireplaces. Her stunning interiors in plaster were often done for private commissions, and their immobile nature might explain why her work is so little known today. Regardless, Schelgel continued to make these architectural sculptures well into the 2000s. In 1958 she founded the clay modeling department at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris where she taught until 1987. More recently, in 2017, the Centre d'art Contemporain, Brétigny hosted a compressive exhibition of Schlegel’s work titled _This Woman Could Sleep in Water_, a reference to Schelgel’s calm demeanor and her impressive ability to nap anywhere.