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Silver Flatware by Ercuis

Durée : 3min 6sec | Chaîne : English version
ww.ercuis.com
The Ercuis factory stands just opposite the Ercuis village church;
and this is no coincidence,
as it was the parish priest, Abbé Pillon,
who founded the decorative silverware company in 1867.
 
Gradually moving away from religious art production,
Ercuis rapidly started building a reputation for fine tableware.
 
As we stroll through the Ercuis workshops,
we learn more about the expertise that has been transferred
through the generations since the 19th century.
 
Our tour begins here in the engraving workshop,
where flatware cavity moulds are sculpted in steel.
Patrick Defacq is an engraver.
He works closely with the creative department,
and has just hand-sculpted four moulds that constitute
the first step in shaping and decorating the flatware.
 
In all, some 45 steps are involved in producing flatware
in solid silver or nickel silver,
an alloy made from copper, zinc and nickel.
 
Stamping, annealing, deburring, emery filing,
buffing, silvering, brightening:
at every stage, a specialised operator keeps the flatware
moving down the line until it is finally given its prestigious hallmark,
proof of its 63-micron silver pedigree,
almost twice the standard silver content required.
 
The silver platework is produced with the same concern
for quality and excellence.
Each piece is handed from one workshop to the next,
where it is expertly sculpted by the very best silversmiths.
 
Some exceptional pieces have an elegant majesty all of their own,
like these candelabras, recently conceived and designed
by an in-house Ercuis creator.
 
"My name is Olivier Maillefer.
I've worked with the Ercuis creative team for 20 years now."
 
The creative process often draws its inspiration
from a vintage piece of silverware or flatware from Ercuis's past.
Indeed, Ercuis has an immense archive
that provides a wealth of inspiration for its creators.
Their creative and imaginative skills are thus employed
to update these pieces, giving them a modern-day veneer.
 
"We are currently working on a Rocaille-style, seven-branch candelabra;
my sketch of the base here is inspired by our archive pieces.      
This base will extend into a stem (the body of the candelabra)
taken directly from our archives,
and the branches too will be based on old-fashioned wrought ironwork.
 
The same principle holds true for some of our more contemporary creations.
For example,
we recently launched a 'Transat' silverware range
that is based on the designs developed by Ercuis
for trans-Atlantic steamers in the 1930s.
We updated the original pieces
to create a decidedly contemporary look
based on simple lines and decorations."
 
In this way, Ercuis successfully blends both tradition and modernity
to ensure that the brand will remain one of France's best-known
and greatest silversmiths well into the 21st century.

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