The rebirth of Manufacture de Digoin
The production of stoneware and pottery at Digoin has always had a strong connection to the artisanal skills and family values of the business that was founded in 1875 on the banks of a Loire tributary. At the time, this area of Burgundy was home to around forty pottery manufacturers, each one with its own specific savoir-faire (manufacturing pipes, bricks, tiles), leading to the nickname “Ceramics Valley”.
Photo: JM Palisse
Over time international competition forced the potteries of Burgundy out of business one by one. The stoneware disappeared little by little from kitchens, replaced by mass-produced products with their inferior materials. However in September 2014, convinced that it was not yet obsolete, a group of investors led by Corinne Jourdain Gros, a former officer at a large Parisian advertising agency, decided to save Manufacture de Digoin following its request for bankruptcy.
Photo: JM Palisse
The twenty or so master potters were hired again, a new catalogue was created and new colours developed. Today, distilleries, mustard makers and jam confectioners are once again using containers from Manufacture de Digoin. Attracted by their unique conservation and preservation properties, many companies have turned to these stoneware jars including big names like the legendary Maille mustard company of Dijon.
It is with great pride and enthusiasm that Port Franc has joined forces with the rebirth of a legend and exclusively imports this unique pottery to North America.
This high quality material was still going strong right into the early 20th Century thanks to its incredible airtight qualities. It could be used to store milk, butter, cream, brisket, sauces and liquids like oil, vinegar and brandy.
Today, the stoneware mixture is wholly manufactured at the workshops of Manufacture de Digoin, using only natural materials from the surrounding regions (Burgundy, Auvergne, Charente, Île-de-France).
Made by hand, each piece is unique. Firing of the pottery is carried out at very high temperatures (1250ºC), which fixes the enamel and ensures that the material retains its highly lauded properties of strength, resistance and airtightness. These properties mean it is ideal for storing food and keeping freshness in. Able to store almost anything, it keeps things hot and cold and is certain to be a key ingredient to any kitchen.