J'ai visité Desvres presqu'au hasard

I visited Desvres almost by chance

I visited Desvres, almost at random, like flipping a coin: “ a drink at Le Touquet or a visit from an earthenware collector to Desvres Marion ”? I had a choice, it was my birthday, it was with my girlfriends. We had a few hours, just for us. It was May 2, 2022 and I chose Desvres.

I arrived in this old earthenware factory. Closed for 20 years. It has remained in its strange atmosphere, a mixture of the end of a reign and testimony to a prosperous past. I walked into the main workshop and touched the broken tiles on the floor. The first piece falls: “ you can no longer do the work you do today ”. Then I look up at these luminous blocks, in 70's typography which were blinking, at the end of their strength: MEN'S LOCKER ROOMS / WOMEN'S LOCKER ROOMS. The second piece falls: “ here there were hundreds of people who worked and lived from earthenware, today there is none of that anymore ”.

For 200 years, Desvres was home to earthenware factories, thousands of jobs, hundreds of families who made a living from it, a renowned territory. At the time I visit it is a territory in pain and know-how that is being lost.

In the end it happened quite quickly in my head. I very quickly wanted to know more but above all to be the one who would try to relaunch and resurrect this know-how. I also found it incredible that no one had seized this opportunity before me. It seemed crazy to me, I was touching a nugget and I was the only one to see that? Really ? Throughout the development, the trademark registration, the setting up of the project, I only had one fear: that someone would release the project before me.

The truth is that what was immediately close to my heart was to recreate jobs, to rediscover know-how, to make the locals proud again. I wanted everyone to be able to see Desvres as I saw it for the first time. And these objects... The crockery, the earthenware, obviously that took on its full meaning. Everything aligned that day. Because bringing together people you love around a table and creating memories around beautiful tableware is precisely what I didn't experience and what I've been trying to recreate ever since. So yes, making earthenware pieces for everyday use, I said to myself: that’s for me, that’s me, I’m going to do it.

There was nothing to take back, no one to associate with. We had to start everything from scratch. For everything, absolutely everything. But I had with me this incredible territory, this history, this past splendor. So I started by going to cafes and asking: “ Who still knows how to make Desvres earthenware ?” » and I met passionate craftsmen. People who have been damaged by the end of the earthenware industry, a real tragedy, but who still want to believe that it is possible. That Desvres is not wiped off the map of French earthenware. They are great people who passed on a lot to me.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you I've never been afraid before. Fear is coming now. It's strange isn't it? This unconsciousness that can carry us far sometimes. By having the certainty that this is what we need to do, that this is where we need to be.

There you go, I just wanted to say a few words (and I made it too long) about Des Rêves and the very beginning of the adventure. Because I was so carried away by this project that I never stopped to tell you about it. As a friend told me: “ Dreams are your life’s project, Marion .” I think she's right.

See you soon.


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