Souleo Provence Pottery, formerly known as Terre E Provence Pottery, is the quintessential handmade French artisan Provencal ceramic tableware. If it is possible to capture the sun-drenched harmony of Provence in a single handmade object, Souleo Provence Pottery earthenware would be it. Produced at a small workshop in Aix-en-Provence, France, Souleo Provence Pottery is glazed and then each piece hand-painted with the vibrant colors found in the South of France.
Made in Aix-en-Provence, France and Microwavable, oven and dishwasher safe.
Souleo Provence Pottery is rustic handmade, hand-painted pottery, therefore imperfections and color variations will occur. These beauty marks are part of the charm of these products. In addition, crackling may be found in the glaze of some pieces. This is due to the firing process and is part of the attractiveness of the pottery.
The SOULEO PROVENCE POTTERY collection is presented all year round in Aix en Provence to the rhythm of the seasons and festivities. And as all the shapes and colors are traditional from Provence, you understand that Souleo Provence never changes the collections, so customers can always complete their sets.
The potteries of Souleo Provence, are from the south of France, where the history of this craft is long and cross-cultural, absorbing influences from throughout the Mediterranean. The region's earliest inhabitants made primitive vessels for storing, cooking, and serving food. The Greeks introduced more sophisticated techniques when they founded Marseille as a trading port, circa 600 B.C. (They also introduced wine, an instant hit.) Trade with Italy and Spain brought new shapes and colored glazes. When the popes settled in Avignon, in the early 1300's, they promulgated both religion and luxurious dining.
Pottery making seems especially suited to the Gallic temperament. Like cheese and wine production, it's a blend of chemistry, artistry, geography, luck, and sweat. Southern France's terroir is ideal—clay-rich soil, hot sun for baking, wood for firing. Today, it has become inseparable from what we think of as the southern French style conjuring up the mortar and pestle, terra-cotta cookware, and brightly colored olive-oil jugs and kitchen tiles. And the dishes and plates: even on the gloomiest winter day, the warm glazes and familiar rusticity evoke herb-scented Mediterranean sunshine.
Our ceramic is fired twice in an electrical kiln. We first fire the biscuit ware (dried piece of white clay) at about 1100° Centigrade. We then proceed with the glazing and fire it a second time at 1000° Centigrade. These firing temperatures are below the ones for porcelain (1400°) and thus give much more shaded, richer and deeper colors, therefore more lively than the porcelain colors. But the inconvenient is that the enamel stays softer. This is mostly noticed in the blue and green shades but less in the yellow shades.
It has always been so and the more rapid aging of ceramic sometimes leading to crackling (very fine cracks) is what makes it so attractive. In order to give you more explanations, we could say that the pieces are made of an enamel composition together with a clay composition. Under firing the coefficients of expansion of both compositions must be compatible at 100%.
We employ natural pastes and there might be a slight difference in the clay composition as well as the enamel one. You must know that a difference of some 10 degrees in firing also changes the parameters of expansion of these compositions. There is not then a perfect osmosis anymore and thus it leads to the slight cracking phenomenon which will be noticed only on some pieces.
The art of firing is a difficult science: it is valuable for you to know that certain producers make use of the art of crackling and it then becomes a technique which is called “RAKU”. We hope this information about our product and ceramic in general will make you appreciate the quality of our products which are still manufactured using the old-style craftsman’s methods and in the pure tradition of Provencal pottery.