The pottery of the la Puisaye area developed from the high quality deposits of clay to be found locally, and these days is centred on St-Armand-en-Puisaye, Nievre.

The pottery was fired in a huge oven, and the process took a fortnight, with teams of potters manning the firing day and night. First, the unfired pottery was carefully placed inside the oven. Then the fire was begun - a small fire (“le petit feu”) to begin with, but getting ever bigger. The fire had to be raked out whilst it was still burning, with incandescent cinders pouring out in a cloud of ash.

After three or four days, it was time for the big fire - “le grand feu”. For 24 hours, the men threw bundles of branches into the mouth of the monstrous fire - up to 6,000 bundles in total, until the flames shot out of the very top of the oven, and the temperature inside had reached 1300 degrees. Meanwhile, the workers; filthy, pouring with sweat, gulped wine and worked like madmen. Then the mouth of the oven was blocked up, and the fire was left to burn down for ten days.

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