Alhambra creations in Sèvres porcelain, in the workshops of the French Manufacture
The union of two decorative arts talents
The Alhambra collection in Sèvres porcelain combines the porcelain métier d'art with Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry craftsmanship. Over 20 steps are required to create Sèvres porcelain. Van Cleef & Arpels invites you inside the French national porcelain manufacture workshops, Sèvres - Cité de la céramique, to discover the major steps in creating the Sèvres porcelain used for this Alhambra limited edition collection.
Making Sèvres porcelain
Faithful to Van Cleef & Arpels’ tradition, the French manufacture craftsmen mix natural materials - quartz, feldspath and kaolin – to create frit porcelain. The liquid porcelain mixture is poured on plaster; the thin layer on top is then retrieved.
The drying and cutting process of the porcelain plates
After a one-week drying process, the craftsmen cut and file the porcelain meticulously to eliminate surface imperfections. The porcelain then dries for another two weeks.
Firing the porcelain
The porcelain is heated in the French manufacture ovens, at various different stages of production. The craftsmen adapt this process for each color.
The manual polishing of the porcelain
The porcelain is then vigorously polished by hand, for a satiny smooth finish, and then meticulously selected, keeping only the best pieces.
The porcelain is then tinted. The difficulty lies in tinting uniformly on both sides, which requires special care and precision.Each porcelain slab is then enameled in order to protect and enhance its color.
The porcelain is adorned with the "bleu de Sèvres" color, the French manufacture's signature, and raspberry pink, a color specially created for Van Cleef & Arpels.
The cutting and setting of the Alhambra motifs
To achieve perfect harmony between the Alhambra motifs, a final selection is made to assemble and match each Sèvres porcelain motif.The master stone-setters then insert each Alhambra motif into its gold pearled setting and carefully push down the prongs.
Alhambra collection in white gold and blue Sèvres porcelain / Alhambra collection in pink gold and raspberry pink Sèvres porcelain
Alhambra in Sèvres porcelain
You can pursue your discovery of these two métiers d'art in the musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris: the French national porcelain manufacture Sèvres - cité de la céramique creations are exhibited in the permanent collections; and the exhibition "Van Cleef & Arpels, l'Art de la Haute Joaillerie" will take place from September 20th, 2012 until February 10th, 2013.
In parallel to the exhibition, discover Alhambra in Sèvres porcelain in our Parisian boutiques from September 2012.