…but that’s somewhat of a misnomer as it’s been more like the past few months that have been extraordinary…extraordinary, that is, in the sense of the history of Quimper faïence. We have just returned from Brittany and I am still busy getting back to what passes for normal, but I interrupted the laundry to make this quick posting…
I took this photograph of Jean-Pierre Le Goff…on the left…conversing with Jean-Yves Verlingue during a visit to the newly re-opened Musée de la Faïence….
I was going to use it to illustrate a posting about there being a new Jean-Pierre in our lives since on the seventh of July, Monsieur Le Goff was named the new owner of the HB-Henriot factory. The other Jean-Pierre is our feline Chief Financial Officer…
Monsieur Verlingue is the former owner of Les Faïenceries de Quimper, a partner in the Faïenceries d’Art Breton, and a driving force in the successful re-opening of the museum…not to mention the son of Jules Verlingue and the father of Bernard Jules Verlingue…the curator of the museum…whew…that’s a lot of history!.
The roller coaster of events began earlier this year, when the HB-Henriot factory entered into receivership in February. After months of consideration, the Bankruptcy Court gave the keys to M. Le Goff on the eleventh of July. I actually brought all my notes with me and was going to make a posting while we were in Brittany, but of course, I was having waaaaaay too much fun to do that! I was going to tell you that M. Le Goff is 57, was born in Paris of Breton parents, and his wife is from Douarnenez. A naval engineer, he went to school in Nantes. Up until last year, he headed a firm that is involved in naval hydrodynamics. The French Ministry of Defense is included in his résumé and his foray into Quimper pottery is apparently not the first time he has purchased a business on the brink.
HB-Henriot happened to be closed for their annual summer vacation when the final decision was made…of the fifty employees, the agreement was that twenty-six would be retained. ..including a team of five painter-decorators reporting to one chief painter. Then, this week, a name change was announced…HB-Henriot is no longer and the new name is Henriot-Quimper. Then, I had just finished digesting that when M. Le Goff up and bought la Faïencerie d’Art Breton!
So, there’s no more HB-Henriot…the firm located in the Locmaria neighborhood of Quimper is now Henriot-Quimper. The nine employees at FAB…which is now a subsidiary of Henriot-Quimper and 100% owned by M. Le Goff …will stay in their current location in southeastern Quimper, but the plan is that they will eventually move their operation to Locmaria, operating from the same building….Henriot producing haut de gamme pieces…the upscale, hand-painted items…and FAB making bread and butter items…including the traditional, personalized lug-handled bowls…the names still hand-painted, but the decoration applied with decals.
Stay tuned for more behind the scenes adventures of The Meadows Collection…or check out the results at www.meadowscollection.com