Saturday, September 25, 2010

IAC Pre-Tour: Bourges, France

I have been home from France for about a week now and still nursing a cold I brought back with me like a cheap souvenir. I have been remiss in adding this wonderful and amazing part of my porcelain pilgrimage to my blog.

I will begin here with the Pre-tour of the IAC Assembly. With our “fearless leader” Jacques Kaufmann at the front of the bus and the Atelier d’Arte staff, as well as our travel agents, about 25 of us from a large variety of countries were taken on an interesting pottery tour of the beautiful areas of Bourges and Limoges.

I will begin with the first couple days we spent in Bourges. My blog will in no way be able to cover all the wonderful things we saw and people we met. Consider this an abbreviated tour. The group met at UNESCO where our assembly took place (ore on that later) and headed south to Bourges for a four hour bus ride.

We were warmly greeted at the new Le Bourne Center for Ceramics Creation, which has a gallery, shop and meeting area. The show on display of French ceramics from the area was beautiful displayed. We had out first meal there and it gave us a sampling of the great foods and wine we would have on the tour. The next day we visited a number of the studios in Le Bourne. This is a pottery town where many visitors come to shop. The artists typically fire stoneware in wood kilns. There is a charming Pottery Museum in an old church that we also visited.

Later in the day, we were received (more champagne!) at the City of Bourges Departmental Council in what was once part of a historic castle. The Mayor described the importance of ceramics to the area. Nice to hear!

The following day we went to Nancay to visit the Capazza Gallerie. Wow! Once an old army barrack on a majestic estate, the Capazza family renovated the space into an exciting and vibrant gallery space. The show was very of the highest quality. Once again, champagne and a toast were given to celebrate our visit! I recommend their website:

There is a porcelain factory in the area, Pillivuyt, and we had a tour and visited their enter. The factory seemed vibrant and busy. The work is done mostly in decals and some hand decorating.

Another delicious meal ended our day as well as our visit to the area. The next day and next blog entry will be on Limoges.