The trade of master craftsman in Petrification is unique. The holder learns it in direct contact with the physical-chemical phenomenon and by intergenerational handing over. Eric Papon, heir to his ancestors, is the only holder of that title in the world. Two hundreds years after the Atelier was founded, he thinks it is important to carry on perpetuating that know-how and constantly making it known and acknowledged. Aiming to do so, the Atelier’s team keeps renewing the creations and modernizing the making processes.
Therefore the Atelier Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire holds the State label « EPV » (Living Heritage). Through that label the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, represented by the Prefect of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region with the help of INMA (National Institute for Artcrafts), acknowledges the know-how held by the Atelier.
That labellization was first awarded to the Atelier in 2009, then it was renewed in 2014 and 2019. That demanding label is a State acknowledgement of the craftsmen’s rare and ancestral know-how. It confirms the Atelier’s team in their development actions and it also conveys their capacity to try and innovate.
That label singles out the Atelier Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire for the quality of their production and their capacity to combine tradition with modernity. It valorizes the craftsmen’s daily commitment to keep ancestral gestures alive and to modernize the applications of their know-how at the same time. The EPV label’s awarding intensifies technical performing, research and economic development programmes on both national and international scales. It enhances the economic heritage of the Atelier Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire and its attachement to the definitive area, that of Saint-Nectaire, in the heart of the Sancy Massif.
The EPV label, awarded for 5 years, is a mark of distinction set up by the French government to honour French firms with excellent handicraft and industrial know-how. It rallies manufacturers proud of their hight performing trades and their products. Combining a unique State distinction with an exceptional know-how, the EPV label aims at valorizing excellent French firms to favour their development.
The Atelier Fontaines Pétrifiantes de Saint-Nectaire belongs to a network of 49 EPV-labellized firms in the Puy-de-Dôme district. In the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, 205 firms have been labellized and employ about 8500 people and draw a yearly turnover of over 1,263 thousand millions euro. Since 2019, associated EPV holders have worked towards the developing valorization of those firms and the strengthening of their bonds, by sharing experiences and pursing partnerships.