The Manufacture of Digoin
Waking up sleeping beauty…
Since 1875, the Manufacture of Digoin – Grès & Poteries produces everyday stoneware objects. Located along the Canal du Centre in Burgundy, the Manufacture of Digoin is originally a traditional family business. Sleeping beauty for several years, the Manufacture came back to life in 2014, thanks to Corinne Jourdain.
Corrine Jourdain had two objectives: reviving an original collaboration, initiated at the time by Terence Conran, founder of Habitat, and perpetuating a historic savoir-faire. Structured around iconic products, the Digouin collection offers culinary objects that symbolize a simple, fun, elegant and eclectic lifestyle.
The Manufacture of Digoin preserves its savoir-faire by exclusively producing stoneware pieces to store, prepare, bake and simmer. The stoneware paste, produced entirely in the Manufacture, comes from natural mineral materials originating in France. Each piece is unique because all are shaped and glazed by hand. These traditional pieces stand the test of time, and are tailored to a more modern look and can be used in many different ways.
Clay is extracted in French quarries and brought straight to the factory by truck. It’s then released into the stalls and sorted according to its origin. Its color varies from yellow to pink.
The matrix or "master mold", made in plaster, is the final prototype. It is then duplicated in multiple copies and sent to production.
After being trimmed very meticulously (the clay is still fresh) with a small knife, the products are cleaned with a damp sponge. This very important step ensures a perfect finish.
Between each step, the products are left to dry. Because clay is saturated with water, the drying process is long and indispensable.
The products are baked in an oven at high temperature. When baked in the oven, the ceramic material becomes water resistant.
Enameling is a complex technique which consists of coating pottery with a thick varnish. Beyond its aesthetic character, this technique makes the pottery waterproof and impact resistant. Enamel is originally a liquid paste. The worker dips the baked object in the enamel, while being mindful when applying the color picked in advance by the designer. Pink here, it turns bright red when baked.
Here is an exclusive preview of the Digoin collection, available soon in your Habitat stores.
Many thanks to the Manufacture of Digoin
Photographs © Mélina Vernant