A 100% made in Limoges production
Haviland remains one of the few porcelain makers to assure that 100% of its production is entirely made In Limoges: fom production to the decoration of its services.
An ancestral ìsavoir-faireî
Men and women working in the Haviland manufacturer become real storytellers by shaping the matter and mastering the fire. Since 1842, their meticulous movements give the kaolin its magnificence. Thanks to this great passion, passed on through generations, the artisans tell us beautiful stories starting from plain, white pieces. Their artfully designed shapes are real feast for the eyes, ears and touch. Before receiving the prestigious Haviland Limoges France backstamp, the matter has to undergo the fire, with a temperature reaching 1400°C. Then, the enamelling gives the piece its exceptional brilliance and its translucent aspect.
Finally, magicians of gold and colours give life to the imaginations of the greatest artists, with this unique “savoir-faire”, owned uniquely by the craftsmen of Haviland.
Haviland porcelain has always combined modern demands with creative craftsmanship.
Highly skilled artisans complete all finishing and decorative work by hand, passionate and highly.
Kaolin, feldspar and quartz are the principal components of porcelain. These items are placed in a grinder where they are crushed and mixed with water. The mixing takes several hours.?Depending on the manufacturing process, three consistencies of porcelain solution are used:?
– For jiggering, a soft mixture
– For casting, a liquid form called ” barbotine”
– For pressing, a dry granulated mixture
THE CREATION OF MODELS AND MOULDS
Everything begins in the modeling workshop. An artist sculpts original creations in plaster. Time-consuming effort and delicate work are necessary to perfect these forms. This is followed by the creation of production moulds which are produced in plaster from?the original models.
Jiggering: The mould gives the exterior shape to each piece while a steel calibrator creates the interior shape.?Casting: Pieces with more complex shapes are produced through casting. The liquid clay flows evenly over the walls of the mold and dries. When the desired thickness is achieved the excess clay is eliminated.
Pressing: Pieces are pressed in a mould with a dry, grainy mixture.
Garnishing: Handles, spouts and buttons, poured independently, are glued to finished pieces using a liquid mixture of similar composition. Finishing: After drying, finishing removes “seams” left by the mold. Each piece is now perfectly smooth.
The “degourdi” firing: At this stage, the porcelain undergoes its first firing at approximately 950°C. This firing gives porcelain strength and makes it porous, a necessity for enameling.
Enameling: Silica, pegmatite, kaolin and lime are mixed with water. The porcelain is plunged into this enamel mixture that gives it brilliance, sheen and translucency.?
The “grand feu” firing: The second firing lasts for about 24 hours at a final temperature of 1,400°C and produces physical changes that allow the enamel to fuse with the porcelain body. Pieces of enameled porcelain are referred to as “le blanc”. A quality check is performed on each item before it is sent to the decoration workshop.
THE CREATION OF DECOR
“The success of a product does not depend on the quality of the decor alone, but, above all , on the way that it is adapted to the form to which it is destined”.?Quote from Suzanne Lalique (creator of numerous best-selling decors in the 30’s, daughter of René Lalique and wife of Paul Haviland). The Haviland creative studio employs the most talented artists in the world who combine harmony in colour and decoration with various shapes.
After sorting and finishing, the pieces are ready to be decorated. Chromolithography is the process most often used.?After a decor is developed, it is printed on special paper and transferred to the porcelain by a varnish that serves as medium.?Gold, platinum, or coloured filigree as well as the garnishing of handles and buttons are all applied with a brush by “spinners”, the steady-handed artists of decoration.?Another firing is then necessary to adhere the decoration to the porcelain enamel. Temperature varies between 900°C and 1,250°C.
The porcelain jewels require artistic talent, delicacy and long hours of hard work.?No less than eleven painstaking steps are required to create these marvels.?A protecting coating is applied to all areas of the porcelain that will not be encrusted. The piece is plunged into an acid bath that etches the enamel and leaves in relief the areas to be polished. The piece is cleaned. A first coat of brilliant gold is applied with a brush. The piece is then fired at a temperature of 810°C. A second coat of matt gold is then applied and the piece is fired again at 850°C. The gold is gently rubbed with very fine sand. In order to accentuate the difference between the matte area (engraved portion) and the brilliant area (the non-engraved portion of the decor), the piece is polished by hand with an agate or a red chalk stone.