Gifts from Provence

Souvenirs from Provence : Pottery

From long stretches of sun kissed coastline to quaint, peaceful villages, from rolling green pastures to friendly cafes serving fine local wine and decadent regional cuisine, Provence embodies everything that France offers and so much more. Away from the hustle and bustle of other tourist destinations, visitors here have the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy a simpler way of life.  Spend the day lounging on the pristine beaches, enjoy long, leisurely walks or hit up the dazzling nightlife and mingle with the locals. However you spend your time there, when it’s time to leave you’ll undoubtedly want to take a little piece of this heavenly place home with you. One of the best ways to capture the essence of Provence is through the exquisite, handcrafted pottery made there.

provence pottery

History

The art of pottery making has been practiced in the Provence region for as long as it’s been on the map. The earliest inhabitants designed primitive but functional pieces that were used for cooking, serving and storing food. The rich clay soil found in Southern France combined with the hot sun perfect for baking made the craft of pottery making increasingly popular in Provence, where experts honed their skills over the generations and visitors can now purchase and bring home some of the most exquisitely designed pottery art in the world.

greek pottery

The Process

The clay used in making each and every piece of Provence pottery is harvested from a small village near Avignon called Entraigue sur Sorgue. Artisans who are experts in their craft shape the clay into various designs and the pieces are then dried and baked and/or wood fired until they harden, after which they are hand-painted and enameled. Pottery items range from simple decorative tableware, like vases, adorned in brilliant provencal colors to one-of-a-kind sculptures which are beautifully crafted and highly collectable. Regardless of the type of item, each piece is a hand-crafted masterpiece.

pottery making

Where to Buy

There are plenty of places to view and purchase a beautiful piece of Provence pottery throughout the region – just about every village has their own shop featuring locally made items. We’d suggest Cliousclat, located near Valence, and Ravel and Barbotine in the Aubagne area. Each have been producing hand-made works of art for centuries and offer some of the most magnificent and classical pieces in the entire region.

barbotine pottery

A trip to the Provence region is certain to provide visitors with the perfect combination of relaxation and exhilaration. Whether sunbathing on a white sand beach, shopping in the quaint French villages or enjoying the delicious cuisine and vibrant night life, you’ll experience some of the best of what France has to offer in one beautiful location. What better way to capture your magical experience in Provence than to bring home a piece of art that was literally made from the land itself?

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