“A repaired Rouen platter piqued his desire to know more about French faience.”*


Image: (prolocofaenza.it) “The Bell tower is most famous monument from the high-medieval period in Faenza, erected by the Black Benedictines from S.Maria Foris Portam in the IX century.”

From an article at Britannica.com updated by Lorraine Murray, Associate Editor:

“Faience, also spelled faïence or fayence, tin-glazed earthenware made in France, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavia. It is distinguished from tin-glazed earthenware made in Italy, which is called majolica (or maiolica), and that made in the Netherlands and England, which is called delft.

The tin glaze used in faience is actually a lead glaze that has been rendered white and opaque by the addition of tin oxide. In the production process, an unglazed article is fired in a kiln and is then dipped in the tin glaze, which is allowed to dry. Designs are then painted on the glaze, which sets them off and preserves them during a second firing at high temperature. The colours used to paint designs were limited to the few that could tolerate high heat until the 18th century, when a low-fire overglaze enamel was used.

The tin-glazed ware produced in Moorish Spain in the 12th to 16th centuries is known as Hispano-Moresque ware and inspired the production of majolica in Italy beginning in the 15th century. The name faience is probably derived from the French rendering of Faenza, a city that was an outstanding Italian centre of majolica production during the Renaissance. Italian majolica inspired the production of similar wares in France and then in Germany during the 17th and 18th centuries. France in particular produced great quantities of superior faience tableware. Among the best-known French varieties are Marseille faience, Moustiers faience, Nevers faience, Rouen ware, and Strasbourg ware. In Germany, faience was made at such centres as Nürnberg, Hanau, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Stockelsdorf. German wares in the 18th century tended to be influenced by the Rococo-decorated wares of France.

Little faience for domestic use was manufactured after the early 19th century because of the popularity of creamware (white English lead-glazed earthenware) and porcelain, both of which were more durable.”

From emiliaromagnaturismo.it:

“Faenza is located on the Via Emilia, between the sea and the hills, halfway between Bologna (50 Km) and Rimini (65 Km), at the intersection with the road that connects Ravenna (32 Km) to Florence (100 Km).

Faenza is worth a visit all year round, also for the numerous cultural initiatives, events, exhibitions and markets related to ceramics.

Known as an international synonym of ceramics, the ancient artisanal tradition of which dates back to the 12th century, Faenza reached its splendour in the Renaissance period. Indeed, “faiance” is still the name of for majolica in many European languages. Here the art of ceramics has been able to combine the new with the old. Moreover, a lively feeling for art can be found in over sixty ceramic workshops where artisans and artists produce certified branded items, with forms and decorations ranging from historical reproductions to artistic experimentations. Plates, vases, mugs, tureens and albarelli are nowadays considered as refined souvenirs able to embellish every home.”

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