My wife and I made a brief visit to the French
pottery village of La Borne on the way home from a holiday in
Switzerland in July 2004. We arrived mid-morning, there was no-one
about but the main street was dotted with Poterie and
Exposition signs and doors were open so went in and looked
around - lots of traditional domestic ware was on offer at very
In the centre of the village are two large maps,
one of La Borne and the other of the surrounding area, both showing
potteries open to visitors. A quick count revealed around twenty
studios to visit in La Borne and around thirty in the surrounding
area, clearly we didn't have enough time! There are also other
potters who do not belong to the association of La Borne potters
As well as the potteries, there is the Centre
de Creation Ceramique La Borne which has a permanent exhibition
of the work of the La Borne potters and visiting exhibitions.
When we visited there was an exhibition of the work of a number
of Danish potters. Next door to the ceramic center is a museum
which shows the history of La Borne and includes a good selection
of pots to give the visitor an idea of how it has evolved over
time. Both the museum and ceramic centre are only open at weekends,
bank holidays and every day in school holidays but
don't open until 2.00pm.
On the day, we looked round the showrooms of Eric
Astoul, D. Bindel, Bottani-Dechaud and David Whitehead before
visiting ex-pat British potters Hugh West and Christine Pedley.
I was pleased to talk to Hugh as I already had one of his turquoise
raku pots. He had some small traditional French stoneware jars,
I purchased one for my collection. Hugh said that he had turned
to stoneware because of health problems associated with his raku
work. He is currently developing a range of matt black stoneware
which mimic raku.
Our last port of call before our 2:00 pm visit to
the ceramic centre and museum was Christine
Pedley. We were planning to have a quick look around but spent
a very enjoyable couple of hours discussing living in France and
working in La Borne drinking coffee from yunomis made by Micki
Schlossingk and Jack Doherty.
Other La Borne Features
-o- Christine Pedley