28 Aug The Manufacture de Sèvres – A secret visit
The visit I would like to tell you about today is truly special.
I had the luck of being invited to a guided visit at the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres – Cité de la céramique.
As you know, Sèvres is a very famous porcelain manufactory and it is amongst the most prestigious in the world.
Together with the German Meissen porcelain, the French Limoges and why not, also our Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte, Sèvres is renowned in the world for the excellence of its production of ceramics and porcelain.
“1740 – Un atelier de porcelaine tendre est fondé à Vincennes dans une tour du château royal, sous le règne de Louis XV et l’influence de Madame de Pompadour, favorite du roi.” (A soft paste porcelain workshop is founded in Vincennes in a tower of the royal castle, under the reign of Louis XV and the influence of Madame de Pompadour, the King’s favourite)
This is the description of the official site of the museum. It gives an idea of the importance of this factory, which was transferred to Sèvres in 1756 and became a real institution throughout the centuries.
Yes, but you may ask what is there so special about this visit? The amazing thing is that we were lucky enough to visit what is BEHIND this famous French institution, we had the privilege of visiting the workshops where these works of art are made.
From the expertise of the “moulage,” through the very difficult process of baking inside the wonderful ancient ovens, up to the final hand-made decorations, everything takes place according to a perfect, century-old artisan, or rather artistic, process. The excitement of seeing simple kaolin transformed, through a process that I would call “magical,” into marvelous vases, plates, and even furniture, is an experience I will not forget very easily.
Talking to the various people who do this work, learning about the subtlety of their skills, gives me the confidence to think that craftsmanship and the marvelous work done by human hands, can still have a place in our society.
In a crazily fast-paced world that rushes irresponsibly towards a technology that seems to know no limits, a visit to the studios of Sèvres is a breath of fresh air and it has rekindled the hope that all is not lost.
Special thanks go to Ombeline and Leïla who made this possible.
Sèvres City Of Ceramics
2 place de la Manufacture