Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant


L'Atelier Arterra

Manufacture of ornemental figures
15 rue du Petit Puits
13002 Marseille
Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur

Sale to private individuals and professionals

Set up in the old "Panier” district in Marseille since 1996, Atelier Arterra has developed a very personal style in the family of santon-makers, combining tradition and modernity and…Set up in the old "Panier” district in Marseille since 1996, Atelier Arterra has developed a very personal style in the family of santon-makers, combining tradition and modernity and refusing the constraints of mass production.

Its collections are appreciated both in the field of nativity scenes and decorative scenes.   The collection includes 5 sizes: 7, 9, 12, 18, and 30 cm.  All items are made of clay, entirely by hand. Whether traditional or decorative items, the santon figurines are rich in detail, both in terms of the mould and the painting.  All manufacturing steps are carried out in the company: design, moulding, die-casting, touching-up, fettling, washing, drying, firing and decorating.   The phase of creating movement for the figurines is particularly well practiced. Each santon has its own unique character. When coming out of the mould, each piece is individually reworked. At this stage, the arms and legs are removed and remodelled. The arms and any accessories (hat, basket, etc.) are often moulded separately and added on by gluing with slip (almost liquid clay). All sculpting details are reworked at this stage by the modeller. Giving the figurine movement is a trademark of the company. It involves, after die-casting, taking advantage of the ductility of the fresh clay to create movement and therefore life for the subjects (ductility is a material’s capacity to deform without breaking). During the decoration phase, the eyes are painted with particular care. They are drawn with at least three colours (iris, pupils, white of the eye), and feature a point of light.   The santons are sold by around one hundred points of sale in France and abroad.