Georges Gilliot founded the S.A. L’Email – Usine d ‘Emaillage de Produits et Terres diverses’ together with John Aulit in 1897. In April 1898 they put the first ceramic tiles on the market.
The brothers Georges and Leon Gilliot, together with their brothers-in-law Théodore de Bellaing and Pierre Cardon de Lichtbuer, founded the S.A. Grès Emaillés d’Hemixem, Gilliot Frères.
The firm delivers the highest quality floor and wall tiles. Production increases from 50,000 to 250,000 tiles a day. In 1913 about 1000 employees are working in different plants.
Reconstruction after 1918. Largest European tile factory. Importance of world exhibitions: Antwerp 1930, Brussels 1935 (own pavilion), Paris 1937.
Reconstruction. Festivities for 50 years of existence in 1948.
Merge with Produits Céramique La Dyle from Wijgmaal to Ceramic factories of Hemiksem and the Dijle. Difficult years are following.
Successful participation in Expo ’58 Brussels. After that, difficult years began.
Royal Sphinx (Maastricht) becomes the main shareholder – beginning of the end.
The company is transformed into NV Sphinx Hemiksem – soon only production of coffee filter bags.
Cessation of all activities
Emptying of the factory buildings. Recovery of many tile panels out of the former showroom to the tile museum .
Photo showroom during a company event, in better times toonzaal tijdens bedrijfsevenement, in betere tijden
About Joseph Roelants
Joseph Charles Roelants is born on November 4, 1881. Decorative artist who is mainly interested in the applied arts.
WWI. Moves to Bournemouth England. Works in the aircraft industry and designs a popular tile series for the Poole Potteries. Leon Gilliot & John Salt persuade him to come to Hemiksem.
Settles in Hemiksem. Designer of decorative panels and head of the art department. Worksin different styles, sometimes daring and modern, controversial for the time (art deco – cubism). Achieved most fame at the 1935 Brussels World Fair.
Retires but remains self-employed in the factory until 1957
Dies on August 7, 1962.