Aptware

Christine Jouval Workshop - Fine Earthenware
575 Avenue Victor Hugo - 84400 Apt - France
Phone : +33 490 743 090

Recent collection

  • Flowers décors for Tureen Apt
  • Soup tureen Provence APT
  • Rétro-Ewer
  • Traditional-Model 18th century
  • Apt-Green
  • Christine Decor

Mixed clays technique

This unique, traditional Apt faience-making skill using ancient techniques has remained unchanged for several generations of Master faience-makers.

The marbling is achieved through a subtle process mixing clays each with its own specific colour. Several notes of different colours give rise to a symphony of colour when the mixing is finished. Once the assembling is complete, a precious clay is obtained whose appearance is only equalled by marble or agate. The pattern of veins of colour is in the interior of the clay as well as on the surface.

There is a varied palette of colour; there is in infinite number of mixtures possible, such that only a visit to the pages on this site showing products will enable you to see the contemporary luminous tints.

The marbled and the pit-fired are two types of mixed clays produced in workshops and peculiar to Apt. Above all, they are the fruits of long, tedious work of mixing by hand, with each stage controlled – texture, humidity – the time is regulated, but also the number of times the clay is handled is counted.

The clay paste prepared and obtained will then be worked by stamping in convex or concave plaster moulds (negative/positive), avoiding turning and taking care not to alter the design present through the whole thickness of the material, so as to avoid “neriage” in the design which, by necessity, is linear.

Apt faience is different from other mixed clays in its typical motif; it is called “La Nougatine”, referring to the warm colours of honey and almond beige, or sometimes given the attractive names of “Brocatelle” (a type of brocade) or “Porphyry” clay.

 

 

Over time, the mixture has been refined, notably under the influence of the Bernard/Faucon workshop, finishing up with the “marbré d’Apt” (Apt marbled), well known under the name of “jasper”. I model the veining using the same process, following precious instructions that stand out among other mixing techniques used.

The aim is to obtain a Mineral, marble-effect appearance, close to veins in marble or agate, or even jasper, transitory but controlled to be consistent through time.

But it is after 2 firings (biscuit and enamel) that the piece finally reveals the impact of the coloured veining through a translucent glaze, as well as pieces in the single-coloured faience that I produce.

Today the universally-used clay comes from other deposits. Nonetheless, I also try hard to use clay from the PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) region, but also, thanks to the quality primary material used at Apt and found in the same place as my workshop (former Apt faience factories), I adapt my clays with some of these constituent parts to get closer to the characteristics of clays used in olden days.

It is important to respect each parameter, the formulas for assembling, the shaping, the temperatures and firing times must be repeated identically so as to guarantee to clients a continuity of collections.