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Gien

Gien China manufacturing was established in the city of Gien France in 1821 by Englishman Thomas Hall who introduced English earthenware manufacturing techniques.  Situated by the Loire River, its location is ideal for the transportation of raw materials used in production. Although often referred to as Gien China - that is really a misnomer as the type of clay used is faience.  Faience is a porous glazed paste composed of various earthenware clays. Most important of these clays is kaolin, the main component of porcelain.  Kaolin adds strength, durability and whiteness of color.  These attributes make faience superior to most earthenware products.  

Most stages of the production process at Gien are done manually.  Up to twenty hands touch each piece - from molding, firing and decorating - up to the finished product.  Many pieces are hand decorated, such as the finials of teapots, mugs and plate edges, while some patterns are completely hand painted.  The skills of Gien artisans are handed down from generation to generation, evident in the intricate detailing of each product - the underside of each piece is as beautifully finished as the top surface. 

Gien dinnerware patterns are known for their richness of color and variety of shapes.  Various artists are chosen to produce the unique designs which are executed with strict attention to detail and many quality control inspections.  Each Gien pattern includes not only dinnerware but also various serving pieces.  Many patterns include oven-safe bakeware items, as well as linens.  The collection also includes solid colored patterns to mix with their highly decorated ones, which allows users to easily create a unique table setting.

Why we love it

Gien dinnerware patterns are - plain and simple – pretty!  Gien chooses their designers from the best in Europe, and their artistry is apparent as the patterns are so beautifully drawn and colored.

We have been fortunate enough to visit their factory in France to see the care and skill of their staff at work.  We watched them prepare the clay, mix the glazes - which requires precise measure of ingredients, apply intricate decals, hand paint pieces, fire and inspect finished pieces.  It’s an intense process that makes you wonder how the products don’t cost much more than they actually do.

Gien products are dishwasher safe, and are intended for use in the microwave only for reheating foods under a minute - not for cooking.  As with all our dinnerware, we recommend you use a low heat setting and non-acidic gel based detergent in your dishwasher.

It’s so fun to create a unique table setting with Gien patterns.  First, the majority of them have the same creamy glaze for the background.  Then, with the Pont aux Choux, Filets and Rocaille color choices, you can mix solids with patterns quite easily.  We would be delighted to assist you in creating a beautiful, unique service.  

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