Les carrelages de Saint Samson

JOELIX.com | Saint Samson terracotta tiles

Last weekend was pretty eclectic. While we spent an afternoon at the races in Chantilly, we also drove to the western part of the Oise, to visit an old factory where they produce terracotta floor tiles.
There is something about old factories, the beautiful decay, old signs, red bricks, the history. Remember the Sugar Factory? Well, this terracotta factory is very different, because it's still "alive"! Two young brothers fell in love with the place and decided to develop its activities. They still produce traditional French tomettes like they did in the 19th century. Can you believe they even produce their own electricity?

JOELIX.com | Les carrelages de Saint Samson

JOELIX.com | Les carrelages de Saint Samson

JOELIX.com | Les carrelages de Saint Samson

While we're currently still in the middle of choosing the tiles for our bathroom (and more particularly the wall finishes) it was nice to see how these 100% natural and 100% French tiles are produced. It's really just "earth". I really loved their wall plaster in beautiful colors like mouse grey, honey and liquorice. Unfortunately it's not suited for bathroom walls…

JOELIX.com | Les carrelages de Saint Samson

Before hitting the kiln, the clay needs to dry for a while. In French these clay balls are called: pains d'argile, clay breads:

JOELIX.com | Les carrelages de Saint Samson

It's so nice (and romantic!) that somehow there's not a better more way to produce these tiles than how they did over a century ago. And even though the craftsmen master their skills, when they open the kiln after firing the tiles, it's always a surprise. As one of the workers says: "we don't make custom made, we make something old and traditional". All of these tools are still used on a daily basis:

JOELIX.com | Les carrelages de Saint Samson

Les Carrelages de Saint Samson /// 4, rue de la Briqueterie /// 60220 Saint-Samson-la-Poterie
more info in English here

8 thoughts on “Les carrelages de Saint Samson

  1. They look like soap! I love terra-cotta tiles and bricks, this is what we use in Colombia for everything construction related :)
    Lovely place, and happy weekend!

    1. Haha yes, pretty soaps from the factory :) These are the touristy tiles though (loved their raw finish better than the regular tomettes!). The earth in Colombia must be very vertile and argilic if you use terracotta for constructions. Happy weekend to you too, Giova!

  2. Wow, that place looks amazing! I love that they “resurrected” the factory. I feel sad thinking about all the factories closing and historical methods of production being lost.

    1. Yeah, so much wisdom is lost over the years. I really loved that these guys are keeping the factory alive without turning it into a museum!

  3. Hi Judith!
    Wow, these are so lovely. Have to keep in mind. What about the wall plaster, is it also made of clay? These are quite environment friendly? Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're very welcome Kreetta! Yes the wall plaster is in “terre crue”, raw earth, very pretty: the colors change with the light and it's a healthy and environment friendly wall finish too :)

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