If you can find the secret passage that leads to their workshop, you’ll be rewarded by getting to know Yaël and Guillaume, the pair who are overturning the conventions of porcelain. Fragile? They make it solid as a rock! Rigid? But here it is being extremely flexible, and playing with light. Light-filled sculptures, fanciful cube lamps, porcelain curtains... the list goes on. You can even come and take a class, and witness their deft craftsmanship.
Esprit Porcelaine is something like a porcelain laboratory. It’s an association whose members are professionals from every corner of the porcelain world: designers, artists, and makers. Together, they revisit classics and find new applications for ancient craftsmanship, resulting in a contemporary, artistic take on porcelain. They even have their own label: Esprit Porcelaine Créateurs. You can view their work for free year-round, and on their website
Porcelain doesn’t grow on trees. As far back as 1786, the quarries of Marcognac were mined to extract the raw material used to make porcelain: kaolin. Listed Historic Monuments as pieces of Industrial Archaeology, they are open to visitors. It’s a chance to see where porcelain begins...
Fresh off the production line
The Bernardaud’s need no introduction in Limoges. From one generation to the next, ever since 1863, they are porcelain: dinner sets, jewellery, and decorative pieces. And so that everyone can get a chance to appreciate it, the masters of porcelain sell factory seconds in near perfect condition, and half-price pieces in their factory shop. You’re already there?
Get your hands dirty
Porcelain will hold no more secrets once you’ve been to the Adrien Dubouché museum in Limoges. The kids can set off on an “Extraordinary journey through the land of white gold”, and design the next tableware collection. If they’re good, they can even get their hands dirty: Musée Adrien Dubouché
Places to go
- Bernardaud Limoges 27, avenue Albert Thomas, 87050 Limoges
- Passage Secret Le Bourg, 87400 Champtnétery
- Esprit Porcelaine Magasin Table de Limoges
- Marcognac Terre de Porcelaine 10, rue Antoine Lafarge, 87500 Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche
- Musée national Adrien Dubouché 8, place Winston Churchill, 87000 Limoges
- Roads porcelain Limoges in Haute-Vienne
Don’t miss the themed exhibition from the Fondation Bernardaud, on show every year from June to March. Until 30 March 2019, it’s “Hands free!”