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La Borne - Pottery Village, France

Christine Pedley yunomi Reuben Batterham lidded jar Matthieu Lievois plate

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 reasonable prices.

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.

 

 

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Potteries