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The finials: a touch of poetry on the roofs

Horse, pelican, fabulous animal, pine cone…. in terracotta or ceramic, the ridges adorn the roofs of many buildings. A craft tradition dating back several centuries, these pieces of art and history were once used to ensure the waterproofing of the traditional roof framework by covering and protecting the protruding part. Over time they have become decorative and more artistic. They are distinguished by the variety of their motifs: fauna, flora, allegories ...

The Pottery of Mesnil de Bavent, an entry into the world of potters

At the Poterie du Mesnil de Bavent, the finials have been made since 1842. Here it is to enter the world of potters as it existed for nearly two centuries. Everything is done by hand with respect for ancestral traditions. Only the ovens have changed, they are no longer wood-fired. The finials sit alongside ceramic objects to decorate roofs, interiors, tables and gardens.
Originating from the old factory "la Tuilerie Normande" which had abandoned the production of finials after the Second World War to concentrate on terracotta tiles and bricks, the workshops were bought in 1987 by the painter and sculptor Martine Kay-Mouat, who had done her apprenticeship in pottery, Joined by her daughter Dominique, together, with the support of their team, they relaunched the production of finials and developed new collections. The pottery of Mesnil de Bavent has since been the only one to produce faience finials. Today, there are only a dozen pottery pieces left in Normandy to carry on the tradition of finials, mostly made of sandstone. The perseverance of Martine and Dominique was rewarded in 2007 with the "Living Heritage Company" label and their know-how has been listed in the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in France since 2008.
Guided tours, workshops and exhibitions are also organized there throughout the year.

Pottery of Mesnil de Bavent

Place called "Le Mesnil"
Route de Caen - Cabourg RD513
14860 BAVENT
02 31 84 82 41
06 72 94 27 59

Tony Mauger, a craftsman specializing in finials in Touques

Tony Mauger works as a ceramic potter in Touques in the arts district. His mother worked as a ceramicist in Bavent, of which he has fond memories. In a pottery internship, he quickly showed his dispositions for this craft and stayed there for five years, After a brief cinematographic break to take care of the birds of Jacques Perrin on the set of "Migrating People", he decided to resume training turner then enameller. With his diploma in hand, he decided to take to the road to refine his know-how and fully master the various techniques from the potters of France. With this experience, he returned to Normandy in 2005 and set up on his own. In 2008, when his mother's boss retired, he had the opportunity to buy back twenty tons of the pottery molds, the oldest of which are nearly 200 years old. Since then, he continues the tradition of the finials but also creates decorative and animal ornaments and garden decorations. He makes his own models and makes his own molds for unique orders.

Arts Quarter

Saint-Pierre square
02 31 88 00 07

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