Are you looking for a place to refresh your pottery skills? Learn more while immersing yourself in local French culture? What about all of that while staying in beautiful accommodations in the Loire Valley? Well, if this sounds like a good way to spend some of your summer or, if you have time during year, then I would like to introduce you to Christine Pedley, the person who can make this dream of yours come true.
I met Christine while I was attending the Third European Wood Firing Conference in La Borne, France, last August. Christine Pedley was one of the key organizers of the weeklong event and one of a small number of local potters who helped get the new contemporary art centre built after two decades of negotiations. As one of the longest resident ceramists in this village of potters, Pedley is an inspiring instructor who offers courses at her studio in La Borne. And that is precisely why I am including Christine in today’s blog. There are many places to go and learn ceramics, but it is rare to find someone whose roots go back to the studio pottery movement in Britain and who are individuals who connect to the modern movement in clay in La Borne. For lessons, cultural tours, visits to wineries, well…I cannot recommend anyone better than Christine.
Christine Pedley studied studio pottery at the Harrow School of Art in London, England before apprenticing with David Leach in Devon. She spent a sabbical year touring Japan in 1973-74, three and a half months of which was devoted to working with a traditional potter, Takeo Sudosan, in Mashiko. She also studied with Jean Claude de Crouzax in Switzerland and Antoine De Vinck in Belgium. It was the time she spent in Japan, however, that gave her a special view of the world. She says, “My time in Japan was an eye-opener to a world with no limits, only the ones we give ourselves, and with this new inspiration my work and my life goes on moving forward from the ‘source'”.
Today, she continues to create objects for daily use out of porcelain and stoneware. Some are lightly salted to further enhance the effects of the wood firing. Christine’s “raison d’être” in La Borne is her strong interest in the 4-century old tradition wood firing techniques and the excellent local stoneware clay which is a pleasure to throw. She says, “I am fortunate to feel that live in my element and connected to the abundant nature which surrounds La Borne”.
If you are looking for that special place for inspiration, look no further than Christine in La Borne. For information on pricing of accommodation and classes, please visit Christine’s website: Chris-pedley.eu
Use Google Translate if you French is not so good.