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Talented Crafts

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In the Haute-Vienne, women and men of talent mobilize their ingenuity, their technique and ability to create exceptional products in china, enamel, leather, stained glass, etc.. The crafts have been innovating to adapt to market trends. Transmitted from generation to generation, we encourage you to discover ...

Ceramics

The beauty and the know-how of Limoges porcelain are fascinating. Its whiteness, translucence and delicacy make it unique. Its reputation, combining tradition and modernity remains unrivalled. It is found on the tables of heads of state, kings, princes and ambassadors, a symbol of Art de Vivreon great tables worldwide…

 Limoges Porcelain

Limoges porcelain

The history of Limoges porcelain is linked to the discovery of kaolin clay in Saint-Yrieix and the presence of natural resources necessary to make porcelain (water, granite, wood for heating…) The first factory was created in 1771 at the request of Quartermaster Turgot. The XIXth century was the golden age for the porcelain industry with a tremendous artistic expansion. Brilliant creators and prestigious factories gave Limoges porcelain its international reputation: Haviland, Guérin, Pouyat, Bernardaud, Tharaud, Alluaud…

The tradition continues today with great factories such as Bernardaud, Raynaud, Royal Limoges, Médard de Noblat... inspired designers (Esprit Porcelaine, Feeling’s Sylvie Coquet, Non sans raison, Yann Fayaud…) and the depositaries of rare and exceptional know-how, taught at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Limoges-Aubusson art school.

 

The Adrien Dubouché Porcelain Museum

Musée National de la porcelaine Adrien Dubouché
Cité de la Céramique
8 bis Place Winston Churchill
87000 LIMOGES
Tel: 33 (0)5 55 33 08 50
Web: www.musee-adriendubouche.fr

MUSÉE NATIONAL DE LA PORCELAINE ADRIEN DUBOUCHÉ - CITÉ DE LA CÉRAMIQUE

Limoges's porcelain heritage is preserved in this  museum with a display of 15.000 pieces: the world's largest collection of Limoges porcelain. Limoges porcelain became famous worldwide after the discovery of abundant kaolin clay deposits in the region. Kaolin was fervently sought out in the 18th century as it is the main ingredient for porcelain making. The Limoges porcelain factory was created in 1771 and was the second company to create hard porcelain in France (after the Sèvres factory)..

 

The Casseaux porcelain kiln

Information
Four à Porcelaine des Casseaux
Parking Royal Limoges
rue du Port du Naveix
87031 Limoges
Web : www.fourdescasseaux.com

Four des Casseaux

This kiln is 19,5 metres (64 ft) high and has a 5,5 metre (18 ft) diameter. It was built in 1884 for the Allaud factory. This industrial building is a listed historical monument and tributes to a remarkable adaptation from aesthetics to functionality. Wood was used at first, then charcoal. Visiting the kiln enables visitors to understand how difficult the task of porcelain heating was. The Casseaux kiln is the only kiln open to visitors (out of the 130 kilns originally built in Limoges).

 

Porcelain Boulevard : factory outlet shops

Most local factories sell items either directly on spot, or in shops in the city centre or in the outskirts.  You'll find a large choice of tableware, jewelry and decoration items.

Limoges Town Hall & Porcelain Fountain

In the heart of Limoges, near Town Hall and its gorgeous porcelain fountain, Louis Blanc boulevard, also known as "porcelain boulevard" is a must as far as porcelain shopping goes.

 

The European Ceramics Pole

A European and international action programme places ceramics, the Limousin region and Limoges at the heart of an innovation network, offering the possibility to develop medical applications to porcelain (cranial prosthetics) or techniques (Cérampilot fine clock components). The European Ceramic Pole works on the sector’s research and industrial development.

European Centre of Ceramics

The European Ceramic Centre will be opening soon in the north of Limoges, on the Ester Technopole site. Limoges is also home to the UNIC, a network of European ceramic cities, as well as to the Limoges Porcelain and Arts of Fire Economic Heritage Pole, created in 1999.

Enamel

Limousin’s colours come not only from its flamboyant autumns. Limoges shines with the excellence of its porcelain and enamels. The ardent heat of its kilns transforms matter, delivering its secrets throughout creation. The revival of enamel is due to the will of professionals to ensure their know-how is passed on to younger generations and stained-glass continues to mark Limoges’s artistic heritage.

Limoges Enamel

Limoges enamel

Limoges enamel acquired its eminence during the Middle Ages. Saint-Martial abbey was at the heart of a vast network of intellectual, artistic and religious exchanges and was a major pilgrimage point on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Techniques applying gold and enamel onto copper developed and were exported throughout Europe. Limoges became renowned for its masterpieces: religious productions, book covers and above all, shrines for relics, crucifixes, sacred vases and incense burners.

Limoges Enamel

During the Renaissance, new techniques appeared such as painted enamel or grisaille. Cheron is the only workshop that still uses these techniques today. Secular themes emerged privileging Greco-Roman Antiquity. Pierre Reymond and Léonard Limousin were the master enamel workers at the time. Léonard Limosin’s enamels were present in the Bergé-Saint Laurent sale catalogue.

After a long decline, enamel reappeared in the XIXth century, and again with the Art Deco movement and Léon Jouhaud.

During the Enamel Biennial Arts Festival from 1972 to 1994, Georges Magadoux strived to unite worldwide designers. Contemporary art held an important place, confirmed by young designers, recently initiated to this art. Encouraged by their predecessors, they gave new life to enamel by associating it with contemporary materials and giving it a new place in the household. The Enamel House gives professional training classes, thus relaying these dynamics.
 
The Limoges Fine Arts Museum

Musée des Beaux Arts de Limoges
1 place de l'Evêché
87000 LIMOGES
Tél. : 00 33 (0)5 55 45 98 10
Web : www.museebal.fr

Limoges Museum of Fine Arts

The brand new 3,0000 square metre Fine Arts Museum in Limoges is located in the heart of Limoges's historical quarters, in the Palais de l'Evêché (Bishop's Palace). Its remarkable collections are divided into 4 major themes : 

- Enamel, with one of the world's largest collections (600 pieces from the 12th century to contemporary pieces), The Egyptian Collection, The Archaeological Collection and The Fine Arts Collection, with masterpieces by Renoir, Guillaumin, Matisse, to name a few.

The museum is surrounded by terraced gardens overlooking the Vienne river. It is also home to a temprorary exhibit hall, classrooms, a library, auditorium and workshops.

 

 Aubusson tapestry

In 2009 Aubusson tapestry was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. The remarkable know-how of Aubusson tapestry weavers has been passed on throughout the centuries. There is a different trade for each of the steps in tapestry making. Aubusson is the only place in the world where all trades involved in tapestry making coexist.

 

The tapestry weaver's house in Aubusson

Information
Maison du Tapissier
Rue Vieille
23200 AUBUSSON
Tell. : 00 33 (0)5 55 66 32 12
Web : mtapissier.lacreuse.com
Email : tourisme.aubusson@wanadoo.fr

Maison de Tapissier, Aubusson

Aubusson tapestry is presented to visitors in a magnificent 15th century house : stroll through time in the painter’s workshop, the weaver’s workshop and the tapestry seller’s office.  The atmosphere in the different rooms, the colours of the different wools, the tapestries and weaving demonstrations will lead you into the magical world of this ancestral art. The highlight of your visit: admire the works of Dom Robert.

 

Aubusson's Tapestry Museum

Information
Musée Départemental de la Tapisserie
Avenue des lissiers - BP 89
23200 AUBUSSON
Tel. : 00 33 (0)5 55 83 08 30
Web : www.creuse.fr/rubrique82.html
Email : musee-tapisserie@cg23.fr

Aubusson's Tapestry Museum

This Museum owns a permanent collection of XVIIth and XVIIIth century northern Limousin tapestries, as well as XXth century tapestries, many created by Jean Lurçat. The museum also has an outstanding tapestry documentation centre.

 Know how

Limousin is a land of traditions and a vast garden where exceptional secular savoir faire is secretly cultivated and blooms into objects of excellence. This know-how is historically established in Limousin, moulding it, shaping its heritage and forging its cultural identity.

 Know How

Travassac slates

Information
Travassac
19270 Donzenac
Tel. : 00 33 (0)5 55 85 66 33
Web : www.lespansdetravassac.com
Email : lespans@ardoisieresdecorreze.com

Venture deep into the magical world of Corrèze's last operational slate quarry: les Pans de Travassac, created over 300 years ago. The man-made landscape of the Travassac slateworks near Donzenac provides an unusual and vertiginous glimpse into the creation of one of the region's best-known features, our blue-grey slate rooftiles. 

les pans de Travassac

Travassac slate tiles were first used during Gallo Roman times. They have an estimated lifespan of up to 600 years! (Mont Saint Michel in Brittany is their main client).

Take a trip into the depths of a slate seam in an underground gallery and discover the slaters' difficult and dangerous profession and their age-old techniques.

 

Saint-Junien leather gloves

Information
18, rue Louis Codet - BP 84
87203 SAINT-JUNIEN CEDEX
Tel. : 00 (33) 05 55 02 26 64
Web : www.ganterie-saintjunien.fr
Email : ganterie.saint-junien@hermes.com

Saint Junien Glove Making

Saint-Junien is the capital of leather and leather gloves. It strives to preserve the age old industrial heritage thanks to the Leather Pole. Tradition has it that Saint-Junien’s leather activity dates back to the XIth or XIIth centuries because of the town’s location: at the junction of the rivers Vienne and Glane and at the heart of a large breeding basin. By the end of the XVIIth century, leather work had become Saint-Junien’s main activity. With the economic crisis, foreign competition and a doubtless change in fashion (gloves began to be seen as a mere accessory), production started to decrease in the end of the XXth century. There are only two tanneries left in Saint-Junien today (Colombier and Gamcuir) and three glove factories (Agnelle, Georges Morand and the Hermès Glove Factory in Saint- Junien). But the accumulated know-how of the past centuries enables them to maintain their fame. 

Saint-Junien gloves represent 45% of France’s total production (480.000 pairs per year).

Saint-Junien’s Tourist Office organizes tours of the glove factories all year long. Discover their techniques and visit their shops.

 

Masgot Village rock sculptures

Information
Les Amis de la Pierre de Masgot
Masgot   23480 Fransèches
Tel. : +33(0)5 55 66 98 88  

Web site : www.masgot.fr    
E-mail : amis.pierre@masgot.fr

Stone Carvings - Masgot Village

What inspired the 19th century mason François Michaud to adorn his village with these naive, yet strangely moving sculptures of humans and beasts has remained a secret. These strange figures are omnipresent in the village: they decorate gateways, fences and lintels.

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