Emile Henry (ceramic)

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Émile Henry Ltd. is a manufacturer of ceramic ovenware, tableware, and bakeware products.[1] Founded in 1850, it is located in Burgundy, France.


1850: Jacques Henry[edit]

Pottery Potter, Jacques Henry runs a small workshop in Marcigny, southern Burgundy. The production is varied: jugs, pots, casseroles, dishes, plates… and is manufactured on 2 manual wheels. 2 kilns heated by wood are used for firing.

1882: Paul Henry[edit]

Paul Henry takes over after his father, and from 1882 to 1894 he moves to Paris to expand his customer base. 40 people are employed and the kilns are run on coal. Mechanical wheels, run on gas, replace the manual ones. In 1912, steam, a symbol of power and independence, modernizes the production process.

1922: Emile Henry[edit]

Emile Henry takes over the company. Born in 1885, he goes to war in 1914. Competition is strong from producers of metal cookware, and this leads to many potteries closing down. The Parisian customers remain faithful, and count for 40% of sales. 50 people are now employed, and the finished products made are left unglazed for horticultural use or glazed for culinary use.

1950: Maurice Henry[edit]

When Emile dies in 1950, Maurice Henry finds himself at the head of the company at 32 years old. Production increases from 1100T in 1950 to 3000T in 1965 and 5000T in 1975. Horticultural pottery is stopped in 1980 to concentrate exclusively on glazed pottery for culinary use. Firing changes from coal-run kilns to electricity, then to oil and finally gas. Firing times are reduced from one week to 72 hours, 24 hours, 12 hours, and eventually to 4 hours. The company now employs 200 people. The export market develops in Denmark, Benelux and the United Kingdom, to reach 15% of sales.

1983: Jacques Henry[edit]

After having run the company with his father Maurice for 9 years, Jacques Henry sets new objectives:

  • develop a stronger product using a unique process: Ceradon
  • develop a strong and recognised brand name: Emile Henry
  • develop the export market (50% of sales come from more than 50 countries outside France). The company doubles its production capacity between 1989 and 1992 and builds 2 new factory units in Marcigny, Burgundy.

Emile Henry is awarded the ISO 9001 international quality standard in 2002.

2012: Jean-Baptiste Henry[edit]

Jean-Baptiste Henry, Jacques' son, takes over the family company.



External links[edit]