As a mother of 2 rugby-loving teenage boys I know that there is potentially a very short shelf-life for any nice pieces of pottery in our house, which is such a pity. I must admit that both my hubby and I look forward to the day when we may be able to buy a nice handmade bowl or sculpture without worrying that it may get broken during the replay of a particularly exciting set-piece of a match or accidentally knocked off by a ball that just didn’t go to hand!
One thing is for certain though that when the moment comes, I will certainly look forward to visiting the wonderful pottery markets that spring up in the villages around Provence to find just the right piece for the right place.
I’ve mentioned before that our dinner-service comes from the lovely ‘Marchand de Couleurs’ in Roussillon http://www.marchand-couleurs.fr/
Each plate, bowl, jug and mug is painted with individual chickens and across all the pieces we have (over 50 in total) no two chickens are the same. The design has changed recently and the chickens are now more ‘cartoon-like’ but ours bring to mind the characters of the various chickens that used to wander around our fields when we placed the order. I love using it as not only is it unique, but also reminds me of the church-bell chiming in Roussillon that I could hear when I rung to place the order.
Despite knowing that we can’t really buy lovely pieces at the moment we regularly see signs on village notice-boards advertising the forthcoming ‘Marche des Potiers’ and now try to make sure we are able to build a visit to them into our days out on the bikes. It is also worth taking a look at the dedicated website http://www.terresdeprovence.org/marches-potiers/marches-potier.php which has details of forthcoming events together with http://www.activargile-provence.fr/10_1.cfm?p=2228-les-marches-potiers-2015-en-paca-et-alentours-consultez-le-calendrier which also has more information on dates & locations.
Of course you can find pottery at many of the local weekly markets, with a particularly good one being at Forcalquier on a Monday, where there are many pottery stalls in the general market, but more unique local crafts on display in the Cour des Artisans, just off the main square.
The pottery markets though, as suggested, are ‘simply that’ – a wonderful showcase for local hand-crafted pottery, from the brightly glazed bowls and jugs that we always tend to think of…
……………..through to beautifully designed sculptural pieces and sometimes of course the slightly bizarre.
More often than not the pottery on show is not readily available in shops and galleries and unless you know where the artist’s studio is then it is unlikely you would be able to find the piece for sale elsewhere, which provides a real incentive to buy a piece when you see it.
There is always something different at the markets and I can’t help but love the incredible creativity that is on display.
Some of the pieces are understandably expensive, particularly considering the amount of time and effort that must have been required to craft the piece, but others aren’t and it is easy to pick up a stunning mug or jug for quite a lot less than 15 euros.
As we approach Christmas I like to think that we will see more people buying unsual and handcrafted items from local artisans, putting money back into the small local communities and encouraging yet more creativity. Certainly I’d much rather receive something like this than a mass-produced item bought from a shop on an anonymous high-street.
There is something so lovely about being able to associate an item with a place you love – and on that note I’ll enjoy my tea from a ‘Chicken’ Mug and dream of warmer times in Roussillon
Shared via Lou Messugo Blog #AllaboutFrance linkup