armoiries Longwy

Monsieur Jean-Marc FOURNEL

Number of inhabitants 14 890
Department Meurthe-et-Moselle
Town Hall 4 Avenue de la Grande Duchesse Charlotte
Tél. : 03 82 44 54 00
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In the heart of the Country of the Three Borders, its fortress inscribed on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO, member of the Vaubans Main Sites and Cities of Craftsmanship Networks, Longwy expresses its creativity through clay and fire since 1798.

At the crossroads of territories famous for their ceramic production, an earthenware factory was created in a former convent at the end of the 18th century. Thanks to prestigious orders, among which the table set for the houses of the Legion of Honor in 1804, the production grows and seduces the public. New techniques are adapted to make cheap bathroom sets and luxury table ware as well, for rich connoisseurs, collectors, and even for the Elysée Palace!

Since the middle of the 19th c. the factory also produces artistic and decorative pieces: majolica, barbotine, and of course the famous enameled earthenware that still makes the worldwide reputation of the city.

This unique technique that appeared in the 1870s – inspired by the Japanese cloisonné enamel – consists in covering a clay object with a decoration of liquid enamel entirely by hand, drop by drop. After heating the bright and shiny colors typical of the Longwy enamels reveal themselves. This process allows any shapes, any styles, any inspiration to express itself. This variety can be seen through our historical pieces, that echo the main artistic streams of the 19th and 20th centuries: Orientalism, Classicism, Art Nouveau, Art Déco…

Today 5 enterprises keep this tradition alive in Longwy, two of which are ran by winners of the title of “Best Craftsman of France”. Traditional or contemporary, their creations can be discovered in the lower part of the city, around the former Banque de France where the museum should settle soon in order to have an artistic center in Longwy-Bas (the museum is for the moment in Longwy-Haut, in the fortress conceived by Vauban).