Jean Derval was originally trained as a graphic designer at the Ecole des Arts Appliqués in Paris. His vocation for ceramics came by chance by creating stoneware pieces for goldsmith Christofle. After 1945, he worked in Maubrou-Pigaglio’s studio and La Borne. In 1947, Derval joined his comrades Robert Picault and Roger Capron in Vallauris where they created a pottery workshop the previous year. The elegant world of amateurs and artists is found at this time on the French Riviera around Picasso. Jean Derval entered the famous Madoura workshop in 1949, where he worked with the Andalusian master for two years. In 1951 he founded his own establishment, Le Portail.