Monday, September 27, 2010

On the Road to Limoges

It was a sad Sunday, we said good-bye to half of our travel family and set off for Paris. On the way, we talked the husbands into stopping in Limoges, where Sue & I were desperately hoping to find the revered china factory without getting too lost. We played our "carsick" card, begging to drive after our stop to get gas. Yes! I drove for an hour, left the highway and just by guessing, we arrived at the factory within 5 minutes!

This is it! No frills, no glamour! We thought the building was being demolished the first time we drove past. After circling, we found the parking lot and convinced the guys that this indeed was a very special place.

After paying omage at the front door, we entered. Long rows of tables were set out with different patterns of china displayed and stacked together. It was amazing! Traditional to ultra-contemporary were all stacked casually on the tables and underneath on the floor.

I spent time looking for my favorite patterns and watching my husband. He was looking at prices with his mouth ajar. $30 plates were the inexpensive ones. So gorgeous!

I found this little artist's corner tucked away in the back of the display room. So interesting to see the paint pots of colors and the tools used by the artist to create the beautiful patterns.

This was the current piece being painted by the artist. Of course the computer picture doesn't show the complete beauty of the colors used and the detail layed down by the artist. This piece was gorgeous!

Then we were able to visit some of the working parts of the factory. The ovens, or kilns, were fascinating. Still made of the old brick used for so many years.

These are the containers that the pre-fired piece is fit into and then slipped into the kiln for firing. There were hundreds of these containers sitting inside the building and outside, stacked against the walls. They must use thousands of them with all of the pieces they fire.

I was so excited to find this collection of marks that had been printed onto large pieces of slate or was it clay? Eileen & I had the most difficult time when we first began collecting our vintage pieces... we could never read the marks and it took us forever to research and figure them out. Seeing them all printed out together was a real treat. My husband was not as thrilled.

We had a great time visiting the home of our "pretties". Now the trip continues to Paris and more fun! Tomorrow, the first day in Paris.


Michele's Treasures, Teacups, and Tumbling Rose Cottage said...

Wow...what an interesting post!! I really enjoyed seeing "the place." Wish I were with you. Have a wonderful time! ; )

Rebecca said...

What I wouldn't have given to see this for myself! Fabulous!

Thank you for coming by my friend. You must share HOW YOU'VE BEEN! Haven't chatted with you in a long time!