Earlier this year, we ventured into the rainy Loire valley to search out an enigmatic source of French culinary pottery. After a few missteps, including a 120 km roundtrip drive to a deserted factory, we arrived at the up-and-running Poteries Renault on the Tuesday after the Pentecostal holiday. There we were treated to a factory tour by Monsieur Renault himself, and were able to see pieces in various stages of production.
Poterie Renault has been producing iconic culinary stoneware in Argent-sur-Sauldre since 1847 when Stanislas Renault opened his workshop on the grounds of the local castle. Production at the current site started in 1865. Each piece is formed from the dark grey local clay, and finished by hand. Some pieces, like the Parisian Pitcher, are still formed entirely by hand.
As the tour finale, Monsieur Renault showed us the old brick kiln where pieces were fired until recently. They now fire all pieces in a more efficient electric kiln.
We are happy to present the fine culinary stoneware from this family-owned operation in the heart of France.