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Santons de Provence
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The first Santons fair was held in Marseille in 1803.

It was the starting point for the "crèche" (nativity scene),
a true Provençal tradition.

See below our selection of decative dresed santons and nativity scene clay santons.

large santons from Provence

The Santons of Provence

From the 19th century, the Santonniers of Provence (santons manufacturers) started to introduce the village people of Provence in the nativity scene: the Water Carrier, the Lavender Lady, the Shepperd, the Cheese Maker but also the Bush Ranger or the Gossiper ! All of them are now part of the traditional Provençal crèche. See below how Santons are made by the Escoffier family.

Our collection is from the award winning Escoffier Santon maker ,

100% created and hand-made in Provence.  

All Santons are 40% off - Limited stock

We in stock only have one of each of the following Santons:

santon woman with bed warmer

Woman with bed warmer

25 cm or 10in Santon of Provence
(clay, fabric and other materials)

$95 (less 40%)

santon woman with lamb

Woman with lamb

25 cm or 10in Santon of Provence
(clay, fabric and other materials)

$95 (less 40%)

santon shepherd with cape

Shepherd with a cape

25 cm or 10in Santon of Provence
(clay, fabric and other materials)

$95 (less 40%)

santon woman with firewood

Woman with firewood

25 cm or 10in Santon of Provence
(clay, fabric and other materials)

$95 (less 40%)

santon woman with sickle

Woman with a sickle

25 cm or 10in Santon of Provence
(clay, fabric and other materials)

$95 (less 40%)

santon shepherd with lamb

Shepherd with a lamb

25 cm or 10in Santon of Provence
(clay, fabric and other materials)

$95 (less 40%)

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The Escoffier santons are well know for the outstanding quality of their design and making. Their creator won the Best Santon Craftsman award. Each santon is decorated with the greatest attention to details to make these Santons look like real people. They have been in santon collections for years. Why not start yours now ?...

large santons from Provence clay and fabric
large santons from Provence clay and fabric
large santons from Provence clay and fabric
large santons from Provence clay and fabric
large santons from Provence clay and fabric

Making of a santon of Provence

CREATING A SANTON

A santon is born in the hands of a sculptor. He creates a clay model with his hands and a carving stick as only tools.

The more precise the carving, the better the model.

Every other stage of the making of a santon will depend on how talented the sculptor was.

Note that he sometimes works on figurines that are no bigger than 2 cm !

Making of a santon of Provence
Making of a santon of Provence
Making of a santon of Provence
Making of a santon of Provence

Plaster is poured on the model.

Making of a santon of Provence

Once dried, the plaster becomes a mould used to reproduce the model.

Making of a santon of Provence

This is done by compressing a block of clay between the two parts of the mould.

Making of a santon of Provence

The new santon is then delicately removed from the mould and must be left to dry for 48 hours.

Making of a santon of Provence
Making of a santon of Provence

Every excess clay is carefully removed from the outlines of the santon.

Making of a santon of Provence

When dry enough, the clay santons are cooked to make them more resistant..

Making of a santon of Provence

This is done gradually in an oven where temperature is made to rise gradually to 960 oC in 12 hours

Making of a santon of Provence

The cooling time before the oven can be opened is equivalent to the cooking time to ensure a good strength of the santons.

Making of a santon of Provence
Making of a santon of Provence
DECORATING THE SANTONS

During the last stage, as important and delicate as the preceding ones, the santon is painted with water based or acrylic colours depending on the finished required.

Precision is fundamental. The smaller the santon the more precise the painter must be.

Painting is the finishing touch of a santon. Its beauty and appeal depend on the level of skills and care of the craftsmen (sculptor, moulder, painter) who created it.  

Making of a santon of Provence
Making of a santon of Provence
 Making of a santon of Provence

 

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Catherine Castelain
c.castelain@lepinparasol.com
Date Last Modified: 4/3/15
Le Pin Parasol
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