In the heart of the Maison Degrenne
For a passionate of the arts of table, going to discover a cutlery manufacture, it’s like a fairy day announced. However, I still hear my entourage saying : “You are going to Vire ??? Vire in Normandy ? Yes.. Oh my god, but you don’t known what it is expecting you ? Vire, it’s not only the fresh cream ! It’s 3h30 of countryside train, few or no internet connection. You will die slowly… There is nothing there !”
I have to say that it was not enough to discourage me, at contrary ! So that’s how I ended up this winter morning in a Degrenne‘s cutlery workshop, a “Maison” a house that perpetuates its know-how since 70 years ! A remarkable “Maison”, who knew to evolve and go through the years proposing a new renewal of the French art of living. With the most modern collaborations like the designer Philippe Starck or the famous pastry chef Philippe Conticini, Degrenne is today one of the essential.
I am delighted to share this photo report with you.
It is by recovering pieces of tanks on the battle of Normandy that Mr. Degrenne had imagined his first pieces. Today, it’s the young Bertrand who makes a stamping matrix. When I meet Gilles a little futher, 42 years of the company, they are entire generations who work together side by side.
He served as memory to find some models during the 70 years of the “Maison”.
At the time there were cutlery for everything ! For Example ? A spoon was dedicated only peeling potatoes !
The manufacture of a knife requires 4 days of work.
From forging to polishing, going through heat treatment… Dozens of steps are needed before it can reach your plates !
In the workshop, the noise is so important that most employees work with earplugs. I put mine also, and I get some smiles as communication. The Cédric’s job ? Welder. At 35, he joined the house a few months ago and assembles one by one the handles of the knives
The knives can now pass in the hands of Irene to be sharpened !
One million cutlery is sold each year worldwide. The objective of the ”Maison”e is to double its production. Before Leaving, I don’t miss to do a stop at the manufacturing store for completing my favourite tableware. The Bahia model clay and khaki colour ! Once again, I could not resist…So, there was nothing to see in Vire ? 😉
One million cutlery is sold each year worldwide. The goal of the house is to double its production.
Photo report in collabration with the Maison Degrenne, www.degrenne.fr
Text and photos : Jessica Lia @thefrenchmakers