Small crumpled cups
Fancy a coffee? You’ve probably already seen Revol’s porcelain cup, crumpled as if it were plastic. In this, creativity combines with craftsmanship dating back to 1768. The quality of porcelain, suitable for cooking as well as for the table, has long seduced the world’s chefs and garners a steadily growing customer base...
A factory in the Valley of Gastronomy
Here we are in Saint-Uze, a few kilometres from the Rhône Valley. All along this valley, now known as ‘La Vallée de la Gastronomie’, food has been king since ancient times: wine, olive oil, fruit and vegetables... but how was it preserved and transported? From this issue, a tradition of ceramics was born around Lyon, which Revol is one of the last to perpetuate in the region.
Thousands of moulds made on site
Here, everything is made on site, even the moulds! In the vaulted cellar are piled the thousands of moulds made and used here since 1768. Revol is also one of the few ceramists to make their own paste: the raw materials (kaolin, feldspar and silica) arrive raw, and the paste is worked here. The goal is to obtain an incomparable grain finesse. Craftsmanship par excellence…
Porcelain cups cast by hand
Céline Bourret is responsible for the traditional casting unit: the crumpled cups are all poured by hand, one by one. Here, the moulds are filled with a liquid paste, then left for a few minutes to allow the porous mould plaster to absorb moisture so that the outside of the cup solidifies. Then, Celine pours out the paste that has remained liquid inside, before unmoulding each of the cups.
This stage is called turning – and it’s Yvan Frachon who oversees it. It involves hand-cutting the collars that protrude from the top of the cup. Precise work that doesn’t suffer any errors. Yvan can cut up to 1,200 collars a day!
Iconic pieces that have built the reputation of Maison Revol
Now it’s Annick’s turn to intervene. Her job is finishing: she makes sure that each cup is perfect, scratching out any irregularities that remain, then passing them, one by one, through her wind tunnel to remove the last dust. Behind her you can see the Ricard jug, another iconic piece manufactured at Revol since 1936.
Immersion in the enamel paste
The time has come to enamel the goblets, to give them their shiny finish, and to colour them if necessary. This is done by immersion: by hand, Sandrine plunges each cup into the enamel paste, then places them on a dryer.
Revol cups: ask for the original!
Here they are ready to go to the oven! They will spend 8–10 hours in an oven at 1380°C before they’re ready to grace tables around the world. Designed in the 2000s, the Revol crumpled tumbler has often been imitated: but the original is the one that’s made here, in Drôme. To recognise it, the Revol brand name is stamped underneath. September 2019 saw a new range of crumpled cups released, ‘100% recycled’, manufactured from the industrial sludge from the factory.
Gratin dishes, soufflé moulds, soup tureens...
While the crumpled cup is one of the most popular pieces, the expertise of Revol is more widely expressed in its pieces used for traditional French cooking: gratin dishes, soufflé moulds, pie plates and other tureens are all manufactured in this same factory, which employs 230 people.
To the table!
For several years, Revol has been deploying its savoir-faire for all types of tableware, including serving dishes: their plates can be found on the tables of major restaurants around the world. The factory itself cannot be visited, but a factory store is located in Saint-Uze.