A behind-the-scenes look at artisan tableware

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You eat with your eyes first – and beautiful tableware only enhances the iconic dishes of French cuisine. Porcelain, crystal glass and gold make French ‘table artistry’ truly shine.

In the Corsican village of Porticcio, the Ceccaldi family has been producing unique knives for over 30 years. At the heart of the workshop, craftsmen like Simon are busy hand-crafting knives of elegant shapes, using quality materials.

Thanks to the knowledge passed down through the generations, blacksmith cutters work the metal with confidence in the heat of the furnace. Take a trip back in time on the Island of Beauty.

Ancient heritage kept alive

The knife-making techniques, passed down from father to son, have their roots a long way back in the island’s history. Today, Maison Ceccaldi is constantly reinventing itself to keep its place as dresser of the grandest tables.

Over on the mainland, the town of Limoges is considered capital of porcelain, another key player in table decoration. Family business Maison Bernardaud has contributed to the industry since 1863. Despite its prestige, porcelain is an unpredictable and demanding material, requiring a few special manufacturing secrets.

Behind these refined products hide a team of artisans, and a mastery of demanding processes.

In this factory, all workshops are linked and each is responsible for one step in the fascinating process, such as enamelling, which reveals the immaculate white brilliance of porcelain. At each stage of creation, the work rests on the skill and gesture of the craftsman.

Going behind the scenes at these workshops gives a unique perspective on these objects’ creation. Both porcelain and knives play an important role in French heritage, crossing the ages and adding to France’s overall contribution to art and craft worldwide.