Saint Amand en Puisaye and its neighbourhood
are the most important sites for pottery in France from the
fourteenth century onwards, largely due to its subsoil from
which the Saint-Amand clay with its highly appreciated firing
qualities is dug, and because an abundant supply of firewood
was readily available.
During the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries the demand for jars, salting tubs
and other voluminous objects intended for the preservation
industry (a large number of salting-tubs from Saint Amand
en Puisaye were sold, for example, to brittany salting companies...)
increased continually. Limits on the number of firings permitted
(at the time the maximum number of firings per year was 15
) encouraged the Puisaye potters to construct bigger and bigger
kilns : 35, 60m3 and up to 100m3 like the one on our site.
The existence of the Jaques-Jeanneney pottery
in the pottery quarter of St Amand en Puisaye, is recorded
from the 1820s onwards.
In the 20th century the site belonged to the sculptor and
ceramist Paul Jeanneney until 1920, who worked for Rodin,
then to the Jacques family of potters. Albert Jacques, then
his son Roger, produced the whole range of the traditional
Puisaye pots into the 1950s. Some of these remained in the
drying sheds after production was abandonned and were still
there in 2000!
After production stopped, time stood still on
the site for five decades. Obviously the buildings started
to fall down and the enormous kiln was progressively invaded
by weeds, but the tools and the pots waited patiently in the
workshops and drying sheds for somebody to open the door again...
In the memory of its two
last owners, the pottery was given the name "Poterie
Since the end of 2004,
the new official name for the pottery site is "Espace Céramique
Jacques-Jeanneney" ... Chosen in agreement with local authorities,
this name outlines the originality and the objectives of the
site compared to the other local pottery sites and commercial
potteries of the area.