Saturday, February 20, 2016

New Colors, Always Beautiful - My Favorite Potter

 Following a path I know infinitely well, roads I've traveled more times than I count, I turn at the last roundabout and follow the hand-painted village signs towards bulls, the Petite Camargue and the Potter. This is the village of Le Cailar, and home to a pottering family. From mother to daughter, from daughter to husband. Creativity, strong family ties, joy, connections, unbelievable numbers of hours working. Radiant smiles whenever I see them. The world sends them their share of troubles, though this little back garden feels as close to Paradise as one could reach, and they weather them.
My memories overwhelm me, but the present takes precedence. I take Véronique in my arms - I've been away so long, and it's been multiple years that we've not seen each other. I can't only give her the classic bises as greeting, I must give her a hug, I must hold her. And, joyously, generously, she is willing. I love this woman and her family, and seeing them again, well, healthy, there, with a whole new surge of creativity and beauty pouring from their hearts and their hands. Tears well up.

No, this is not your normal: look at the lovely wares of my artisan article. I can't help but add my emotions into the mix. I lived 18 years in this world, now 3.5 years ago, and coming back, being so warmly received, everything is tinged in more than rose-colored glasses, more like deep, rich, roaring ochre from the clay beneath my feet here.

Véro has started playing with three dimensions in a way she'd not done before. And she's started creating characters in this new world. For years she made exquisite and personalized marriage plates (I've offered these to more than a few friends) and birth plates (Jonas has one) that have lovely personages on them, much like the little girl above on this plate. Now, however, she's taken this idea and run with it. She's started created exquisite plant and garden art.
And vases to be hung on your wall (these are reminiscent of a shape her mother used to work with).
 She's now making tall vases, and cooky jars and, simply beautiful - if fragile - dolls where the hair, the accessories, the dresses, the add-ons are all inspired by the flood of quirky and bewitching images that stream through her. Visiting mid-winter, her collection was much diminished by Christmas markets. But she's getting back to work, and I imagine by Easter, her shop will be full of marvelous new subjects. And, if you are lucky enough to visit, or to spy her at one of the many regional potters' markets, do give her my best!

I've likely brought quite a number of my readers to this little shop over the years. So, you will join with me in also appreciating (and coveting) some of the new colors that Véro has started working with. The designs are reminiscent of her classic style, but she has turned towards new pallets of colors, in particular a rich red base and a deep dark blue. Having recently visited Norway, I am struck that these have an almost Scandinavian feel to them. She's even playing with simply 2 colored pieces - something very unusual for this self-proclaimed over-decorator.

I do think I need to organize that special pottery tour like I'd always considered way back when. We would need to organize safe shipping, or come prepared for adding a second over-sized hard-sided box to the airplane allotment. What do you think? Tempted?

From mother to daughter: an inheritance of skill, creativity, joy and life.


Tracy Grant said...

Those red ones ar to covet for sure! Beautiful!

Kathryn Coon said...

Absolutely tempted!

Elizabeth at Eiffel Tells said...

Thank you for introducing us to this talented family. The combination of artistry, craftsmanship and tradition makes these lovingly made pieces of pottery irresistible. We will definitely look out for their pottery when next in Provence.

Madeleine Vedel said...

I'm so glad this post has sparked your interest Elizabeth. Say hello for me when you stop by! They're easy to find - once you get to the neighborhood - and you can go onto visit the walled city of Aigues Mortes and the salt flats on the same day. Or head down to the Petite Camargue and check out the flamingos, bulls and beaches.