It is sensual, white, shiny, pure and delicate at the same time: porcelain, that magic material one usually associates with elegant tableware. It was in Limoges in the center of France that abundant kaolin deposits were discovered turning the city and surrounding region into one of the leading porcelain manufacturing areas in the world. Kaolin is a key mineral component of porcelain. The family-owned house of Bernardaud has been manufacturing fine porcelain tableware and objects since 1863. And the house, in collaboration with the French fashion designer Marion Vidal, has just brought out two collections of porcelain jewelry focusing on the moon and Ancient Egypt, talismanic in nature, they embrace the world of porcelain, finely decorated and shaped by the designer.
The collections were fashioned in the workshops of Bernardaud in Limoges by the designer who has been working with porcelain and earthenware for the past 15 years and for whom jewelry must be sensual and tactile. For the Luna collection, the Luna pendants are an ode to the moon, at times colored and luminous, at times dark and intense. Here the sensuality of porcelain comes to life. The Luna pendants resemble talismans, with a herringbone pattern enhanced with gold for the Ladon models, seemingly reptilian. The Gaïa models are in a strata of malachite finely outlined in gold, while black and blue and gold finishings on the Eclipse models are graphic. Each model exists in two sizes with two lengths of cord.
The Scarabée collection is Marion Vidal’s version of the celebrated sacred beetle of ancient Egypt. A symbol of the rebirth of the sun and eternal life, the scarab is supposed to bring good luck. Fashioned in porcelain as well, the pendant combines lustrous gold with orange, blue, green, white or black.
« Porcelain is for me a precious material which has immense technical potential. I thought I knew it very well but I remain surprised and fascinated by its extreme shine due to a very white, very tense glaze, » explained Marion Vidal.
The house of Bernardaud is a member of the prestigious Comité Colbert organization that promotes and protects French luxury. And there is a Bernardaud store right on Park Avenue at number 499.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette