P is for Pottery Markets

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!

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Great raku pottery of a tube of paint at the artisan market in Avignon

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.

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I have just the place for this in mind

I’ve mentioned before that our dinner-service comes from the lovely ‘Marchand de Couleurs’ in Roussillon http://www.marchand-couleurs.fr/

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Baskets of pretty pottery outside Marchand De Couleurs, Roussillon

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.

The stunning village of Roussillon, home of Marchand De Couleurs

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.

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One of the ever-tempting signs

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.

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Great little pottery signs for sale at Forcalquier – we own a Chat Bizarre!

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…

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Love the stunning colours of these mugs at Gordes pottery market


……………..through to beautifully designed sculptural pieces and sometimes of course the slightly bizarre.

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Rather realistic but bizarre pottery ‘escargot’ at Caromb

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.

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These penguins were rather lovely

There is always something different at the markets and I can’t help but love the incredible creativity that is on display.

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I’m not sure these would sit well in a Dartmoor Garden, but they are rather fun!!

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.

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Love the watery colours and simplicity of this pottery at L’Isle sur la Sorgue

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

Lou Messugo


4 thoughts on “P is for Pottery Markets

  1. Oh there’s some beautiful stuff here. Like Margo I have a weakness for ceramics and even tried my hand at creating for a while, though I discovered I wasn’t very good!!! Thanks for the links to the markets, I’m keeping them for future reference and thanks for linking this lovely colourful post to #AllAboutFrance

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks I’m too clumsy to even think about working with clay – I get my creative fix from making silver jewellery now, funnily enough inspired by & incorporating pieces I have found in France – we’re heading down later today for a few days of pottering around the local markets – I’ve been keeping details of lots of small local fairs advertised across the area so hope to find some gems!!


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