the alchemy of water, earth and fire

The first task is to design a vase , a plate or a complete sets of tableware. It is the job of designers such as Yves Mohy or René Berthoux ... Several other artists also create designs for Virebent.

Next a model , truly faithfulI to the original drawing , has to be produced. This model is made from a slug of plaster hand-shaped on a turntable with a trimming tool , then carved with a chisel and a modelling tool.The work has to be meticulous since that model will serve as the base for the making of the first mould.

Then comes the casting stage : the mould is filled to the brim with the slip, a liquid paste poured from a pitcher. While absorbing the water from the slip , the mould’s plaster allows for an earthy film to materialize on its walls.

After a wait of half-an hour to two hours , the mould is emptied of its residual liquid. The piece is then carrefully removed from the mould.

A new object now exists. Sponges , knives and scrapers are used to smooth out the imperfections , edges and seams of each piece. It is time to proceed with a first firing , at 1.050 degree C for earthenware , 980 degree C for porcelain and stoneware. Then the biscuitswares are glazed with a spray gun or dipped in a special bath. Next comes the second firing at 1.380 degree C for porcelain and 1.280 for stoneware. The object finally looks as its designer has imagined it.

All these successive stages of the manufacturing process occur in our factory in Puy l’Évèque. Eleven people work in spacious workshop (26.000 square feet) that are fully equipped with 6 gas and electric kilns and 3 enameling booths. But the quality of each process is guaranteed by the know-how of 3 top porcelain-making experts : a mould and model maker , a caster and a first rate enameling specialist. Since 1999 , the Virebent porcelain factory has returrned to full-scale development. We have generated new clients not only in France but also in the United States and other foreign cities such as London , hamburger and Hong-kong. And we are proud that several well-known four-stars restaurants have chosen some our sets of tableware and accessories.

la route des métiers d'arts entreprise du patrimoine vivant
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