Comment fabriquons-nous nos pièces de faïence?

How do we make our earthenware pieces?

The release of 15 more pieces of earthenware on seems to me to be a good opportunity to share with you a central element of the Des Rêves adventure.

Many of you have asked me questions about the manufacturing process. I don't blame you, one year ago it was all rather obscure for me too.

Obviously I'm not going to describe every stage in detail. For that, I invite you to come and visit our workshop (Village des Métiers d'Art de Desvres).


Just remember that it takes us 5 weeks, from start to finish to make a piece. From the earthenware powder to the finished product, ready for dispatch.

5 weeks is a long time, it's true.

5 weeks is the time it takes a very small team of people to work by hand: Céline in production and me for a few hours a day with my hands in the earth, and the rest "running" Des Rêves.

5 weeks is the time it takes to mould and accumulate enough raw pieces to fill our one cubic metre oven three times, i.e. around 200 pieces at each stage.

This is the time it takes to prepare the paste, mix the clay with water, leave it to rest, perfect it and finally use it. Pour it into the plaster moulds, let it take shape, drain off the excess and leave to harden. Clean the pieces once, then a second time and leave to dry.

Hold our breath for the first firing, often started on a Friday evening so that the oven has time to cool down until Monday morning. Then, like one Christmas morning, we can't stand it any longer, so we open the kiln (which is still too hot) at over 100°C to find our precious objects.

Then came the time for enamelling, in a bath, by hand. Again and again, we clean the pieces, unglaze them and leave them to dry.

Holding our breath for a second time, when we put the pieces in the kiln religiously, carefully, calculating that with one finger between each piece, the enamel on the mug will not fuse with that on the broc.

Come back on Monday and repeat the same ceremony. Taking the pieces out, admire, let the cracked pieces go with regret and move on to the next step. The next step is the merciless quality control: first or second choice? The minor defects go to the shelf of pieces sold in the workshop. The first choice will receive its decoration.

Then we install a table, it is enough rare for the mention and we pose these magnificent decors piece by piece. As our decors are specifically adapted to each form, the technical pose is always different.

One time we in sufficiently posed to fill this large kiln, we start to be in apnea. Yes as the last fire, the  decor kiln, is the most delicate. 750° and as many risks for colours. How do we know if we’ll always going to get the same Desvres blue? It's a challenge every time. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes not.

That's why it takes 5 weeks to make these pieces with passion and love.

See you soon.



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