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Villedieu-les-Poêles
Manche, Normandy

Knights of the order of Malta founded the town in the 12th century, establishing copperware workshops inspired by those they saw during their crusades in the Middle East. In the so-called «deaf workshops», copper is still tinned to produce pans which are highly sought after by chefs and amateur cooks.
© Label Grimace

Villedieu-les-Poêles Manche, Normandy 39
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In Villedieu-les-Poêles, the capital of copper, located in the heart of the Manche, in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel, there are two exceptional workshops of this medieval art: the oldest, Mauviel 1830 and the Atelier du Cuivre, founded in 1850. Both are the oldest workshops still in operation and have preserved the ancestral know-how of copperware in the production of kitchen utensils and the manufacture of custom-made pieces. Copper is a noble material by definition, the best conductor of heat, but to preserve it from oxidation, it must be tinned. An ancestral gesture, a unique know-how, carried out by a tinner - the one who tins. After pouring a bath of molten tin, the tinner turns it in the stove with a special sponge. Tinning is one of the important steps in the production of a stove, but not the only one. Upstream, the embossing which gives a shape to a blank metal plate, the polishing which makes it smoother or on the contrary the hammering. In short, a succession of steps that are part of the great tradition of copperware.