The beautiful story of the Faïencerie de Charolles dates back to 1844 when Hippolyte Prost, a native son, took over his father’s pottery workshop. He began by producing simple, everyday crockery decorated with abstract floral designs and figures. The simple designs were fringed with either gilt-highlighted borders or blue saw-toothed lines.
Then, in 1879, the creations evolved into a more refined production under the influence of Elisabeth Parmentier who brought a more artistic style. This central bouquet of either roses or tulips, with a blue border (“peigné”), became the emblem of the earthenware factory. “Le Charolles”, as we call this style even today, was born. And it was to become internationally renowned!
During the 19th century, the factory produced more luxurious pieces such as the “octogonal” or “François II” tableware. Ceramic slips also emerged as popular styles during this era. You can now find these works of art in several museum exhibitions in France. Namely, in the Musée du Prieuré , one of the jewels of the town of Charolles. The earthenware factory has always been proud of the strong ties it has built with both the museum and the local community.
In 1892, the Molin family succeeded Hippolyte Prost as the new proprietors of the earthenware factory. Henceforth, the factory had approximately sixty artisans and produced its own colours and enamels. During the 20th century, the Faïencerie de Charolles encountered several hardships, including a major crisis in 1935, before finally recovering. (I have little information on this era...)
The page in the story turned in July 1995 when Edith and Benoît Terrier took over the Faïencerie de Charolles followed soon thereafter by their son, Emmanuel, and his wife. They attribute their success to the factory’s legacy: an absolute harmony between the highest quality materials and ancestral know-how.
This period marks the beginning of a decisive shift towards a more contemporary style: the contours become more refined, the forms are more rounded and the collections reflect a taste for luxury. The factory’s artistic partnerships with prestigious designer companies such as Ligne Roset, Roche-Bobois or Baccarat attest to this new turn in styles. The “works of art” emerge from the workshops to appear in the most sophisticated home décor and interior design magazines.
In 2017, Jean-Luc Farina and Estelle Farina purchased the Faïencerie de Charolles which has decisively turned its creations towards ceramic, high-quality decorative objects.
The Faïencerie de Charolles is a remarkable company with a long-standing history and unique spirit. It has preserved its local, traditional production while daring to evolve its creations into a more contemporary, designer style.