Jean Besnard was born in 1889. After studying the techniques of Savoyard folk pottery, he made his first ceramics in the 1920s, throwing them himself or having them made by others following his designs and instructions. His often African- or Greek-inspired creations are notable for their incised designs added directly by hand or using a knurling tool; and for the new kinds of enamel he perfected, including the white enamel known as “shriveled”. He made mainly vases, lamp bases and simple bowl forms as well as masks and stylized animals. His favorite colors were brown, white, turquoise, and gold. Interior decorators Jacques Adnet and Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann often asked him to create pieces for them. He passed away in 1958.