Ceramic art in the Var, as in the Mediterranean basin as a whole, appeared 8000 years ago, during the Neolithic era. These first potteries that emerged at the same time as agriculture, livestock rearing and weaving, are used for both practical and ritualistic purposes (offerings to the deceased).
During the Gallo-Roman era, amphora were made in Fréjus and exported across the Mediterranean. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Fréjus was still a major manufacturing centre for ceramics and the biggest supplier of dishware in Marseilles!
However, the 17th century was when ceramic art really began to develop in the Var, and a flourishing industry emerged, reaching its zenith in the 19th century and would last until the middle of the 20th century. Thanks to the abundance of water, the presence of pure and fine clay deposits and vast swathes of forest, meant trees could be cut to fuel the fires, several villages in the centre and upper Var, especially Brue-Auriac, Saint-Zacharie, Lorgues, Villecroze, Barjols, Varages et Salernes, specialised in renowned artisanal and industrial production: briquettes, floor tiles, tiles, dishware…
Even today, at the beginning of the 21st century, Salernes and Varages are renowned for their tile, dishware and pottery industries.