Europe’s leading faience manufacturer, a symbol of elegance and french art de vivre.
Two centuries of craftsmanship go into the making of this premium quality Faïence. Traditional crafting techniques are still in practice and are inherent to an outstanding level of excellence.
The Gien Faïencerie still controls, to this day, the entire making process of its goods, from sourcing raw materials to making clay paste and slip, to turning out the finished product. The transition from heap of earth to pieces of stunning beauty - it all happens in Gien.
faïence, a vibrant substance
Each piece of Gien passes through the hands of 30 different master craftsmen and women. Each pair of hands applies the skill of roughly 20 years of practice. So each single item is treated with 600 years of know-how ! 600 years resulting in faïence bearing the stamp of Genuineness, Warmth and Creativity.
Clay paste, plaster casts and glazes are all designed and created at the Faïencerie using traditional undisclosed recipes. It takes no fewer than 14 different types of earth to forge a piece of Faïence, and the specifications of the mixture are still today one of Gien’s closely kept secrets.
Hollow shapes are then fitted with additional features such as handles, spouts… and glued on with a specially formulated type of slip. After drying and firing at 1 160°C, the piece then becomes “biscuit”.
Pieces are hand crafted, using the pouring method for casting hollow shapes such as teapots, and pressure casting for flat pieces such as plates.
Chromolithography : the pattern on a chromo is applied by hand to a white glazed piece.
After firing, the pattern becomes fast.
This requires a high level of expertise and is reserved exclusively for prestige pieces. The outline of the pattern is printed by hand using 18th century techniques with engraved copper plates. The piece is then painted by hand. It takes at least 3 years to acquire the skills necessary for this method.
When dry, pieces are smoothened and evened off with a sponge to give them a faultless “finish”. They are then kiln-fired at a temperature of 1160°C.
Last but not least comes glazing. This is what brings such radiance and shine to the finish, enhancing the beauty of the pattern’s colors.
It plays a defining role in the choice of a design. During firing at 1060°C, the glaze vitrifies, thereby sealing and intensifying the brightness of color
During firing at 1060°C, the glaze vitrifies, thereby sealing and intensifying the brightness of color.