Terre Figuière France
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The workshop makes vases for horticultural use in different dimensions, up to one metre tall. Since it was taken over, the company has managed to recover markets lost by the previous owners, in particular large garden centres.
The technique used is convex jiggering. The moulds used for these operations are made in the company. These large-sized items require perfect command of the modelling technique. An unfired mould is made by convex jiggering. The bottom of the vase is turned by hand and glued to the slip (liquid clay) on the unfired mould. The last phase is turning. Some models that feature twisting are hand-cut with a hollow chisel. All parts are decorated with raised patterns (garlands and/or medallions). They are added through embossing, which is a rarely used technique nowadays. After 15 days of drying, the items are decorated. Some are applied with an engobe. This is a delicate operation because the thickness of the clay layer must be even. Other models are decorated with coloured enamel. Decoration consists in highlighting garlands and medallions using a brush with enamel that has been coloured (alquifoux) through adding metallic oxides such as cobalt, chrome, copper and manganese.
Initial training can be accessed via the usual training paths, but know-how such as jiggering, embossing, preparing enamels and using alquifoux can only be learned in the workshops. Two of the three managers have respectively 21 and 15 years' experience; between the two of them, they have command of all the manufacturing operations. One employee has over 20 years’ experience.
The company takes part in trade shows. It sells its production at the workshop and on Internet (53% of sales are made to private customers). The products are also sold via large distributors. Its products are available from the main national garden centres (44% of production). The company supplies the Institut de France. It is currently starting up export trade with a representative in the United States.