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Fontaines pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire Sarl

Manufacture of petrifaction low-reliefs

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Sale to private individuals and professionals
An active testament to the Auvergne’s volcanic past, Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire has used thermal springs in the craft of petrifaction for the past two centuries. Founded in 1821, the company, whose unique know-how is found nowhere else in the world, makes mould encrustations.
For seven generations, the Papon family, owners of the undertaking, have been coming up with new methods and producing original designs. Open to the public since 1922, the site is a pioneer in company visits.

The production of the low-reliefs involves recovering the limestone dissolved in the volcanic springs by precipitating it into moulds. This requires an understanding of the path taken by the water droplet in the mould. The difficulty lies in hardening the deposit and obtaining uniformity in the thickness of the object.

Alongside the annual production sold to visitors, the company develops new manufacturing concepts. Thus, gutta-percha (rubber-type plant gum), used for the past two centuries to make traditional moulds, shares space with wax, alginate, plaster and other silicones. These materials make it possible to produce specific, technically complex, high-end pieces.

The company sells its products in a shop in Saint-Nectaire and online, and also works to order.