Saint-Amand-les-Eaux lies in northern France, 13 km from Valenciennes. The environment is perfect for establishing an earthenware factory: there are rivers, roads to transport the material and the products, and forests providing wood for the ovens.
In 1705 Nicolas Desmoutiers establishes the first earthenware factory in Saint Amand, where he produces tin-glazed faience.
His products are characterised by both multicoloured decorations and blue camaieu decorations en grand feu (decorations with flowers and animals). When Nicolas's daughter Marie-Josèphe marries in 1735, she and her husband Robert Flescher take over management of the company.
From 1736 several members of the Dorez family, descendants of the ceramist Barthélémy Dorez of Lille, rent the company. In 1775 the factory is sold to Bécart, who closes it in 1776 and moves to Valenciennes.
In 1718 Pierre Fauquez establishes a second earthenware factory in Saint Amand. Fauquez was the owner of a factory in Doornik (Belgium), but as a result of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 he was cut off from his clients in Saint Amand. Hence he decides to move to Saint Amand where the conditions are more favorable (water ways, roads, forests).
Saint-Amand salad bowl.
His employees follow him from Doornik.
The company flourishes under his management from 1718 until 1740, then under the management of his son François-Joseph from 1740 until 1773 and finally under the management of his grandson Jean-Baptiste from 1773 until 1794.The French Revolution puts an end to the production in 1794.
The production of the factory was varied, both in form and decorations. Jean-Baptiste was fascinated by Chinese porcelain, like so many 18th century earthenware producers. Hence he produces porcelaine tendre with decorations in blue camaieu, inspired on the Doornik decorations. He produced faience fine, also called terre de pipe, with golden decorations.
A part of the production of the Fauquez factory has been marked, which makes it possible to attribute them to the factory, even when the origin of the decoration is doubted.
Dorchies and Herbo manage the third factory of Saint Amand from 1810 until 1817. In 1818 Maximilien Joseph de Bettignies, a ceramist from Doornik, takes over the small company. The production is varied and artistic. The objects are made of porcelaine tendre with Doornik decorations like acorns, laurel and cornflowers. They also produce tin-glazed earthenware with blue or multicoloured decorations, as well as little statues, busts and vases.
Encouraged by the success of the factory, De Bettignies constructs a new, larger factory in the hamlet of Du Moulin des Loups in Saint Amand. He specialises in the production of porcelaine tendre, also known as artificial porcelain. Unfortunately this gives big problems with disastrous consequences. On 17 December 1880 Gustave Dubois and Léandre Bloquiaux take over Maximilien de Bettignies' company. They produce tin-glazed earthenware in the style of Lunéville and Saint Clément.
In 1887 the factory becomes a Ltd. or an Inc. company and changes its name to "Manufacture de Faïence et de Porcelaines". In 1896 a second factory is opened in Wandignies-Hamage and the mark "Saint Amand et Hamage Nord" is registered. This company expands quickly. At the peak of the production the factory employs approximately 700 people.
In 1900 the "Société Amandinoise de Faïencerie" is established close to the train station.
"Ceranord" is established in 1908. Their emblem is a swan. From 1910 this factory, which registers the marks "Lustroceram" and "Orceram", profits from the cooperation with the tile factory in Saint Amand.
These companies are the only ones continuing their activities during the First World War.
After the First World War damage has been repaired, the company starts extracting clay for the production in Provins and rents a small company in Orchies (see Orchies). This company expands and is in 1923 added to the parent company by a merger.
At first the company changes its name to "Faïence et Porcelaine St Amand-Orchies-Hamage". In 1928 the name is changed to "Manufacture de Moulin des Loups-Hamage" and in 1944 to "Les Manufacture de Faïence du Moulin des Loups".
Thus the company consists of 5 factories: two in Saint Amand, one in Wandignies-Hamage, one in Orchies and another one in Provins.
In 1952 the factory in Wandignies-Hamage ("Saint Amand et Hamage Nord") closes its doors. In 1954 most of the other factories are closed as well and only a small company (Ceranord) remains under the name "Les Grands Etablissements Céramique", which closes its doors in 1962.