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.

30 June 2008


The story of life is how to cope with failure. I'm aware of that. It is not getting easier to cope with failure as you get older. I've found that out.

They say that in order to succeed, you have to be on the right spot at the right time. Well then, I was on the wrong spot at the wrong time. That rural village in the middle of France in the first few years of the 21st century was the wrong place at the wrong time. True.

I can take some of the blame too. I'm pretty hopeless in business... can't stand accounting and paper work, can't bare having to spend time at other things than my actual job, namely being in the workshop preparing clay, throwing pots, showing someone how to do it, trimming half dried pots, firing the kiln, mixing glazes and applying them onto bisques and firing again. Another problem with me also is that I love doing all that for its own sake, whether I get paid or not. I realize that to make money in any entreprise, the main drive must be to want to earn the money... So, I will call it a day. The pottery studio is defunct. It has no more function. It is closed.

I have sold the kiln.

Around me in the area, there has been a number of other 'eccentric' people venturing into new activities too. In the street just below me was a young English family with two young teenage daughters and a grandfather. They bought a property, worked steadily at renovating it with the intention to offer self-contained accommodation to tourists they would entice to come for a rest in this quiet rural place. They never made it either. After a few years they had to go back to England and leave their dreams behind. Further up, a Belgian couple bought a manor house and renovated it to be able to welcome groups of artists from Belgium who would want to rehearse or create whatever in a quiet place. They ended up selling and left too.

Lost opportunities. Miscarried business. The point is that there has not been any wealth created. Therefore there will not be any wealth to be 'shared'. Creating, generating wealth is Act 1. When a business venture fails, the country gets poorer by one notch.

The moral of the story????...


camille monet said...

Dear Frankie, I am working on a very large ceramic mural at the moment, the making of the mural has been a part of a Community Arts Project which has consumed my life for the past 2 years. While I have been really enjoying the employment, which is rare for an artist in Australia, I am really happy the project is finally at it's ends. Yesterday I was working in my studio firing a kiln load of tiles and glazing more, I started dreaming about making pottery in France, something I have done since I was 12 years old. So on a break from my work I sat at the internet and typed, "Pottery studio to rent in France" and I was really happy to find your stories about your studio in the Berry providence. I read all your writing and looked your photo's and really enjoyed everything I read and saw. The photo's of you and your grand daughter are very endearing and remind me of having my niece and nephew helping me in my studio.

All last night I thought about Berry, and imagined that I would feel very inspired there. I live on a very beautiful Island in Australia, south of Melbourne. It has some very pristine coast lines and beaches, and incredible bird life. My three sisters and I had a heavenly time being raised here, our father was a Sculpture and oil painter from England and our Mother was from Malta, she was a piano teacher. Our father Built a stunning house made from recycled materials which I am very lucky to be using now as a living space as well as a studio.
I do love Australia, but unfortunately I feel as a nation we have not respected the people and there culture who were here before us. I feel this has resulted in Australian people never being able to evolve and create their own culture. The indigenous Culture in this country, like all indigenous cultures is so rich, and full of wisdom. I think we have so much to learn from them, I do feel positive we are staring to learn, finally after 200 years. While I love living here sometimes I long to be in a country which really respected the original culture, I feel France does this well. From reading your writing I feel you really love living at St Civran.
After thinking about reading about you all night I looked at your blog again and found the upsetting letter you have written about you closing up your business. I am very sorry to hear that it has not worked. The photo of the man wheeling the kiln out of you studio is a very sad sight for a potter, It is sad you had to sell the kiln, were you not able to keep making your beautiful pottery just for the love of it. I can't imagine what it is like to live as a potter over is France. Is it very expensive to buy materials? I really hope you can continue making your work, the way you have expressed you love for it feels very familar to me, I read the piece of writing you wrote about using your hands, I loved it. I really feel people as awhole are suffering because they dont get to use thier hand enough, creatig things with you hands is so crucial for the development for childrens motor skills, it is so sad to see little ones sitting in front of Television sets.
Sorry I should have done this at the start of this message, My name is Camille, I am 32 years old, I would really love to hear from you. Thank you for sharing you wisdom and I hope you are feeling ok and you are still creating wonderful things with you hands. Travel safely love Camille

Frankie said...

Amazing, Camille! I'd love to hear more and exchange email with you. Please contact me on berryhobby(at)gmail(dot)com