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Who Is CAMILLE FAURÉ? and Will THE REAL FAURÉ Please Stand Up?

  • October 3, 2015

    I discovered a quiet buzz circulating through the enamel community and the subject was the Fauré technique of enameling. Not to be left in the dark, I googled as fast as my fingers would type. What I found made my heart skip a beat.


    A new book written by Cork Marcheschi, entitled ”Camille Fauré: Impossible Objects -Enameling and Art Deco from 1919 to its final end in 1994.
    Camille Fauré was the proprietor of Fauré Atelier in Limoges, France; he was not an enamel artist. As a young man, Camille Fauré was a smart businessman who owned a decorative sign painting shop in the heart of a city famous for its porcelains and enamelware. Aware of the changes beginning to take place around him in traditional enameling and imagery, Fauré decided to diversify and opened a shop for decorative enamels. In 1919, he formed a partnership with a pair of well-known enamel artists: Alexandre Marty and his daughter, Henriette. It was Marty’s creative experimentation that gave Fauré enamels their distinctive three-dimensional surfaces. His energetic curiosity led him to develop direct flame and drip techniques as well as his most important discovery, the ability to sculpturally build up the surface of the vase with thick enamel.

    There would be no Fauré Art Deco vases without the contributions of Alexandre Marty.
    By 1924 there was not enough business to support the partnership of Marty and Fauré, so Henriette and Alexandre left. Camille’s daughter, Andrée, and five other budding masters had been trained in the Marty technique. So, at the age of 20, Andrée Fauré was given carte blanche to run the studio.


    The influences of the modern artists, the Cubism movement, and Futurism helped Andrée and Atelier Fauré create the body of work that is now found in decorative arts collections in museums around the world.
    Andrée’s designs were visionary and her use of bright colors was bold and dramatic, standing in contrast to the conservative style of 1925 Limoges. Andrée was dedicated to every aspect of running the studio. Not only was she the proprietor, designer, and production supervisor, but marketing director as well.


    Along with her husband, Louis Malabre, they would take selling trips from Limoges, France, through Spain, board a ferry and continue through Morocco to Tangiers. Louis was a shoe salesman who took the Fauré line to fairs along with his shoes. It was at these fairs that they established clients in the USA, Australia, South America, and all over Europe. Throughout the history of the studio there would be forays into contemporary art motifs beyond the Deco/Modernist period, but they never met with the success of earlier times.


    Camille Fauré died in l955, and although Andrée had always run the shop, she never took credit for her designs. The studio continued into the early 80’s, running with a small crew and small orders, until a very large order of Deco style pieces and florals came in. Andrée was now in her 80’s and put on extra staff to fill the order. Unfortunately, although Mr. Marcheschi did an outstanding job of writing this book as well as filling every page with extraordinary works of art. I highly recommend this book for your collection..................................Trish White .

    BUT WAIT! THE STORY DOESN'T END HERE........ Mauricette Pinoteau, a former employee of Andrée Fauré during the l970’s, is one of only a few people who can still produce the Art Deco Fauré-style enamel vases.

                                       How to work the Fauré Style


    (from a presentation by Mme. Pinoteau at the 2007 Enamelist Society Conference)

    ........Camille Fauré was born in 1874. In 1911 he opened a painting studio, working with many techniques, enameling among them. He directed the studio from 1919 to 1950. In 1920 he got to know the “atelier” of Alexandre Marty, who was doing enamels, it was him who taught Camille Fauré the relief technique characteristic of his very famous pieces, as well as the use of a top-to-bottom, light-to-dark color gradation. Everything was done over a silver foil base.

    This was the time of the “Marty-Fauré style”, whose subjects included Camille Corot’s copies, flowers, and landscapes. The Edmond Allain Company was the company who manufactured the copper forms for them, all exclusive designs. Asides from the studio, M. Fauré had a farm with cows, as he was very fond of these animals. It was also in the 20’s that Pierre Bardy began working at Fauré’s company. He was very good painting porcelain, and he started to work the enamel by using the same painting technique, in the art-deco style so stylish at the time. He remained with the company for 48 years.

    In 1925, the studio is named the “Camille Fauré Studio”. In 1928, Lucie Dadat comes to work in the “atelier”, where she stayed for 40 years. She was a great enamelist, very precise with her designs, and a good colorist, with very equilibrated colors. Her designs were mainly floral. The most spectacular pieces from the company were created by Pierre Bardy and Lucie Dadat. A love affair also developed between them, even though M. Bardy was married and had two children.

    After operating only as a workshop, in 1936 they opened a store. Then came the time of very complex vases, perfection in the use of opalescents, with high relieves and perfect corners, and very difficult firings. All the designs were geometric. The vases with trapezoidal forms also started in this period, using liquid platinum, under the guidance of Pierre Bardy. They also made vases with lids, with new shapes and new designs, some of them with the silver foil cut and applied only under the floral designs instead of covering the entire surface. Liquid gold was also used for final details. Mr. Fauré was an expert in firing very heavy pieces, some of them weighting up to 7 kilos (over 15 pounds). The firings were done in charcoal kilns, whose temperature is very difficult to control. Mr. Batiste Tistou was in charge of the firing process. They had many employees, each one in charge of a specific task (some working in the final detailing, some in painting with the “famous travail a l’aiguille done with Blanc de Limoges”).

    Each artist was allowed to do his or her own designs. The process started with pencil drawing over the copper form. When a geometric design was required, it was done in advance, measuring the piece and drawing the exact traces in paper first, and then transferring them to the piece. The color chart for the required enamels was also done on paper in advance. The enamels were then applied, followed by 15-16 firings for small pieces such as brooches, and up to 20 for the bigger ones.

    Every firing was done with different temperatures and durations, depending on the colors and the process, and alternating the piece’s orientation between upright and upside down each time.

    Artists were allowed to sign their own pieces, and today we can recognize them by their colors and designs.