The beauty and the know-how of Limoges porcelain are fascinating. Its whiteness, translucence and delicacy make it unique. Its reputation, combining tradition and modernity remains unrivalled. It is found on the tables of heads of state, kings, princes and ambassadors, a symbol of Art de Vivre on great tables worldwide…
The history of Limoges porcelain is linked to the discovery of kaolin clay in Saint-Yrieix and the presence of natural resources necessary to make porcelain (water, granite, wood for heating…) The first factory was created in 1771 at the request of Quartermaster Turgot. The XIXth century was the golden age for the porcelain industry with a tremendous artistic expansion. Brilliant creators and prestigious factories gave Limoges porcelain its international reputation: Haviland, Guérin, Pouyat, Bernardaud, Tharaud, Alluaud…
The tradition continues today with great factories such as Bernardaud, Raynaud, Royal Limoges, Médard de Noblat... inspired designers (Esprit Porcelaine, Feeling’s Sylvie Coquet, Non sans raison, Yann Fayaud…) and the depositaries of rare and exceptional know-how, taught at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Limoges-Aubusson art school.
The Adrien Dubouché Porcelain Museum
Limoges's porcelain heritage is preserved in this museum with a display of 15.000 pieces: the world's largest collection of Limoges porcelain. Limoges porcelain became famous worldwide after the discovery of abundant kaolin clay deposits in the region. Kaolin was fervently sought out in the 18th century as it is the main ingredient for porcelain making. The Limoges porcelain factory was created in 1771 and was the second company to create hard porcelain in France (after the Sèvres factory)..
The Casseaux porcelain kiln
This kiln is 19,5 metres (64 ft) high and has a 5,5 metre (18 ft) diameter. It was built in 1884 for the Allaud factory. This industrial building is a listed historical monument and tributes to a remarkable adaptation from aesthetics to functionality. Wood was used at first, then charcoal. Visiting the kiln enables visitors to understand how difficult the task of porcelain heating was. The Casseaux kiln is the only kiln open to visitors (out of the 130 kilns originally built in Limoges).
Web : www.fourdescasseaux.com
Porcelain Routes in Limousin
A network of 22 Limoges porcelain factories in Haute-Vienne, which came together to represent and promote the tradition of Limoges porcelain : its members have all agrred to produce and decorate porcelain exclusively in Haute-Vienne, Limousin.
The European Ceramics Pole
A European and international action programme places ceramics, the Limousin region and Limoges at the heart of an innovation network, offering the possibility to dvelop medical applications to porcelain (cranial prosthetics) or techniques (Cérampilot fine clock components). The European Ceramic Pole works on the sector’s research and industrial development. The European Ceramic Centre will be opening soon in the north of Limoges, on the Ester Technopole site. Limoges is also home to the UNIC, a network of European ceramic cities, as well as to the Limoges Porcelain and Arts of Fire Economic Heritage Pole, created in 1999.
Website : www.cerameurop.com