A pottery studio in St Civran, France

Welcome to this blog about the quiet rural life in the Berry Province of France where I have tried to open a pottery studio to hobby potters.
Your comments will be appreciated.

03 October 2006

5. Registering at the Chamber of Trades

In order to start work in my pottery studio I had to be registered as a business of some sort.

The Chamber of Trades in Chateauroux (the prefecture town of my area) put me down as a potter, i.e. a craftman or a craftwwoman making clay pots. I tried to explain that my plan was to have hobby potters coming to work for their own purpose. That would have been 'teaching' pottery and I didn't want to be registered as a teacher. So I left it to that and I was then issued a long ID number. I also had to attend an obligatory 4 day course, in November 2001 prior to opening my business, within the Chamber of Trades building. It meant travelling 50km to attend.

The group of people attending the 'business opening course' at the same time as me was wide ranging, from a mechanic to a builder. Some were old hands in their business who had to attend for some administrative reason. The teacher was a bored lady who didn't seem to have started a business ever in her life.

I don't remember what I 'learnt' in that course, except that the paper work and administrative side of running a business was going to be time consuming and depressing... and it was. There was no joy! No spur! No enthusiasm of any kind. And we were well warned that a great deal of the money we would earn (if we did) would be used to pay 'charges' of all sorts, social charges, taxes, and what not.

A number of people from banks or accountancy agencies came to explain their role in a business venture. At the end of each hour we were issued a pile of printed sheets with diagrams and things. I weighed the whole pile at the end of the course: it came up to 3 kilograms.

I was downright bewildered.

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