Faïence is one of the oldest technique used in ceramic. The faience Museum at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie traces its history, its evolution since the 17th century.
Faience and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
To create a pottery you need clay, wood and water. You can find all these elements in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Before you shape the clay, you pound and wash it and then let it rot in a mud cave for months. Moustiers used to have a quality clay due to these prolonged periods of moldered. Moreover, Moustiers’s clay contains enough limestone for it not to break during the 1st firing and to have a perfect uniformed enamel. Its chemical composition reacts on the enamel aspect. The finesse of the ceramic allows a clear and nice sound.
Moustiers will be known thanks to the Clerissy’s brother who came from an Italian family of ceramists. In 1679, it is Pierre Clerissy who started the golden age of Faience in Moustiers. At this time, the village had 2000 inhabitants, 14 workshops and 4 paper mills. It is said that the objects and their decoration were inspired from renown artists’ creations from this period. The two main artists who inspired Moustiers’ finest were: Antonio Tempesta – Italian painter and engraver from the 16th century – and Jean Bérain – architect, illustrator and engraver from the 17th century.
Today, in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Today, you can find 11 faience workshops in Moustiers : Lallier, Bondil, Soleil, Blanc Michel, le Barri, Bleu Cobalt, les 2 Arches Bruno Louis, les Cigales, J. Fine et Mlle Pomponette, Mufraggi and Serrailler. They all have shops in the center of the village where you can discover each of their creation.
You can also visit their workshop on demand to know the steps of creation of Faience, a real time travel experience with an open door on French traditional expertise. Don’t hesitate to visit the Museum of Faience to complete your knowledge.