Raynaud - a passion for Limoges porcelain

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Raynaud – Poetic Limoges Porcelain Dinnerware

Sensual shapes, captivating colours: Refined Limoges porcelain dinnerware by Raynaud enchants connoisseurs and star chefs with its poetic charm and weightless elegance. Whether white dinnerware for renowned restaurants or richly decorated china that you could hang on the wall – Raynaud has an unmistakable signature look.

Raynaud was founded in 1919 in Limoges, the capital of French porcelain. Within one century and three family generations, the manufactory has become a permanent fixture in the porcelain world.

Deeply rooted in the traditions of Limoges, Raynaud strives for excellence in craftsmanship. A fine sense of detail, a sophisticated aesthetic and an understanding of the needs of first class catering all inform Raynaud porcelain with a passionate art of living.

Three Family Generations of Passion

The china vendor Martial Raynaud had travelled the world before deciding to open his own porcelain manufactory in 1911. He bought a manufactory in Limoges, reorganised it and founded the House of Raynaud in 1919. The pioneer drew endless inspiration from his world travels and left his family a vast creative legacy.

His successor André Raynaud modernised the manufactory according to extraordinary quality standards. He passionately collected antique china; for his innovative collections, he reinterpreted the old shapes and patterns. With his understanding of art, André made contacts in the art world. Soon after, Raynaud worked with famous artists such as Jean Cocteau, Roger Tallon and Salvador Dali.

Bertrand Raynaud took over the family business in 1992. He realised iconic dinnerware collections with greats such as the legendary interior designer Alberto Pinto, florist Christian Tortu and artist Hyppolite Romain. His passion for the culinary arts opened the doors to the world of Michelin-starred chefs – partnerships with top chefs such as Thomas Keller followed.

The Feminine Touch – Sensual Porcelain by Raynaud

From fashion to dinnerware: Bertrand Raynaud lives with his wife Mariela Schwarz Montiel in the family chateau near the manufactory. The passion of the German-Paraguayan cosmopolitan Mariela is shoe design. Famous actresses such as Penelope Cruz, Amy Adams, Tina Fey and Brie Larson are among the fans of her footwear creations.

Over time, Mariela discovered the aesthetic potential of porcelain. In 2012, she designed her first china collection for Raynaud: the Trésor dinner service. It is one of the bestsellers of the house to this day. Since then, Mariela has played a vital role in the artistic direction of Raynaud.

Raynaud and Limoges – Excellence by Tradition

Limoges has been the centre of porcelain craftsmanship in France since the end of the 18th century. At that time, china clay, the main ingredient for porcelain, was found near the city. Also known as kaolinite, the china clay from the region around Limoges is exceptionally pure. It gives porcelain from Limoges a unique whiteness.

Limoges porcelain is traditionally hard porcelain. It consists of 50% china clay and is fired at over 1400 °C (2552 °F). The resulting china is delicate, white, translucent and resilient. The manufactories in Limoges adhere to the highest quality standards – only those who strive for excellence succeed.

Traditionally Crafted Dinnerware by Raynaud

The interplay of form and colour is what makes Raynaud porcelain so appealing. By the time a piece is finished, it has passed through the hands of many skilled artisans.

A modeller carves prototypes for new shapes by hand. Plaster moulds are made from completed prototypes. Each plaster mould is used only forty times before it is replaced. This way, no detail of the original design is lost.

The soft clay bodies are fired for the first time at low temperatures. The still porous "biscuit" porcelain is submerged in a bath of minerals for glazing. This is done in a quick and precise hand movement that must be practised for a long time. The slightest mistake can produce an uneven result. The glaze is absorbed by the biscuit porcelain and vitrifies during the second firing.

The second firing at 1400 °C (2552 °F) gives the final china its white colour, translucency and hardness.

High Precision Decorations

The pride of Raynaud are the intricate decorations of coloured collections such as Trésor, Oskar, Aura and Cristobal Coral. They have to be applied to the porcelain with absolute precision. There is no margin for error.

Raynaud's decorations are created using a technique called chromolithography. The motifs are printed on carrier foils in a special technique. Artisans position the foils perfectly on the glazed porcelain and smooth them out. In an additional third firing, the paint fuses with the glaze forever. The patterns become scratch- and dishwasher-proof as long as they do not contain precious metals.

Raynaud's complex designs do not allow for inaccuracies. Complex pieces with handles such as cups and jugs are particularly difficult. The craftsmen need time and practice to flawlessly transfer the designs onto the porcelain. Their dedication makes Raynaud's unique aesthetic possible.

Some china collections such as Minéral and Monceau are completely hand-painted. Raynaud's painters are considered true artists, the white gold their canvas. The Prestige collections in particular shine with detailed patterns and delicate decorations in gold or platinum.

Raynaud's supreme art is inlaid work. Only a handful of manufactories have mastered this technique. A myriad of steps is required to complete a single inlay. The incomparably brilliant precious metal surfaces are perfectly durable – works of art that will last forever.

French China of Protected Quality

In 2006, Raynaud was appointed one of France's living cultural heritage companies. The "Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant" label is awarded by the French state to companies that embody French excellence with their craftsmanship.

Since 2018, porcelain from Raynaud has carried the official designation of origin "Porcelain from Limoges", in French "L'Identification Géographique 'Porcelaine de Limoges'". It guarantees that Raynaud porcelain is manufactured and decorated entirely in the Haute-Vienne département according to strict criteria – 100% Made in France.

Raynaud for Restaurants

True understanding requires personal experience. As a gourmet and passionate chef, Bertrand Raynaud knows the demands of master chefs. Dinnerware such as the Hommage collection designed for Thomas Keller or the Lunes dinner service for Anne-Sophie Pic demonstrate Raynaud's design philosophy: the container must adapt to its contents.

Custom-made Raynaud dinnerware can be found in exclusive Michelin Restaurants and luxury hotels all over the world:

  • Restaurants "Pic" (Valence) and "La Dame de Pic" (Paris), chef Anne-Sophie Pic
  • Restaurants "Pierre Gagnaire" (Paris), "Gaya" (Paris), "Les Airelles" (Courchevel) and "Colette" (Saint-Tropez), chef Pierre Gagnaire
  • Restaurant "Sur Mesure" and hotel "Mandarin Oriental" (Paris), chef Thierry Marx
  • Restaurants "French Laundry" (Yountville, USA) and "Per se" (New-York), chef Thomas Keller
  • Restaurant "Ultraviolet" (Shanghai), chef Paul Pairet
  • Porcelain Poetry – Top Raynaud China Collections

    Designed by the legend Alberto Pinto himself: Cristobal Coral in red and Cristobal Marine in blue are Raynaud's long-time bestsellers. Organic coral silhouettes grow over the delicate Limoges china. Bright monochrome colours alternate with luxurious gold ornaments. The maritime flair makes the Cristobal china collection popular for furnishing yachts.

    The Trésor dinner service by Raynaud is the first design by Mariela Schwarz Montel. Hypnotic geometric patterns cover the elegant porcelain seamlessly. An innovative colour palette forms a perfect concept for modern interiors. Individual pieces from the Trésor collection retain their magical radiance – ingenious gifts for aesthetes.

    Are you looking for specific dinnerware or limited editions by Raynaud? Write us at service@artedona.com or call us at +49 (89) 45 69 20 66, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 7 pm CET.