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Tell us more about Bernar­daud’s le­gacy in porce­lain-mak­ing.

Bernar­daud was es­tab­lished in 1863 and is still a fam­ily busi­ness to­day – I am the fifth gen­er­a­tion. I feel very for­tu­nate as I have been able to build on both the le­gacy of my pre­de­ces­sors and the two-pronged ap­proach that is the com­pany sig­na­ture: Draw­ing from the tra­di­tions of a her­itage craft, we seek to in­no­vate and march to the beat of our own drum. To­day, Bernar­daud has grown into a ma­jor player in the French lux­ury and in­ter­na­tional dec­o­ra­tive arts scene.

What are the great­est chal­lenges of porce­lain-mak­ing?

Our great­est chal­lenges are in­no­va­tion (see the lat­est Bal­loon An­i­mals made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with artist Jeff Koons – we wouldn’t have been able to pro­duce that 10 years ago), and en­ter­ing new mar­kets (bal­lis­tics, cos­met­ics, ar­chi­tec­ture). Porce­lain, as a ma­te­rial, has so much to of­fer. It has never been as beau­ti­ful and strong as it is to­day. How­ever, it is quite dif­fi­cult to pro­duce as it shrinks dur­ing fir­ing, and un­der­goes many de­for­ma­tions we have to mas­ter. We spend a lot of time and en­ergy push­ing tech­ni­cal bound­aries to meet 21st-cen­tury chal­lenges. All the in­gre­di­ents are get­ting bet­ter be­cause all the tech­nolo­gies are also evolv­ing.

Who are the dif­fer­ent artists and de­sign­ers you’ve worked with over the years, and how do they bring a new per­spec­tive to porce­lain-mak­ing?

Bernar­daud has al­ways worked with artists and de­sign­ers. It is com­pletely part of our DNA, and we are very keen on these col­lab­o­ra­tions be­cause they in­spire us to go be­yond our com­fort zones and bring porce­lain to un­known ar­eas. We have col­lab­o­rated with Jeff Koons, film­maker David Lynch, per­for­mance artist Ma­rina Abramovic, writer So­phie Calle, pho­tog­ra­pher JR, and so many more.

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