Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Highlight of a Summer Vacation by Sarah

It's September, which means students are back in their classrooms and no doubt have been assigned the ubiquitous start of school topic,

"What I Did on Summer Vacation."

Today as I begin my stint as guest blogger for the QCI, I want to tell you about a French couple I met this summer while on vacation in Santa Fe, NM.

It's Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan @ Summer Daydreamer, so grab your passport and come along with me as I share a highlight from my summer travels.

2009 International Folk Art Market

Each July, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM hosts an International Folk Art Market. This incredible event brings together artists from around the globe. The 2009 market featured over 140 artists from 46 countries. Each booth was a treasure chest of beautiful handcrafted items that reflected the traditions and cultures of the the countries represented.

Lady on Stilts

As you might imagine this weekend event was full of colorful sights, music of the world, dancers, international food, and extraordinary art from around the world, not to mention thousands of visitors eager to support these visiting artist.

The one booth that I immediately knew readers of QCI would be interested in was that of Sylvie and Francois Frenais. This talented couple had traveled from Burgundy, France to share their creative talents. Sylvie and Francois, both educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Bourges, France, later apprenticed together at Cliousclat, a traditional pottery studio, to learn the age old techniques of the pottery of the region.

The couple works as a team. Francois at the wheel to throw and model the clay into both utilitarian pieces as well as the delightful whimsical figures, and Sylvie with the glazes and fine decoration of each piece.

Francois Fresnais

They continue to use lead glazes to give their ceramics brilliance, but fire the pottery at high temperatures to prevent problems with leaching. They use both wood and gas kilns.
Sylvie Fresnais

Many of the pieces are utilitarian in nature and include fine details with slip work.

Whimsical figures seem to come to life with utter charm.

The Fresnais' ceramic figures are based on the human form and are called "personnages" in French.

Notice the layers of detail and the finely formed border of this platter.

I noticed that the glaze colors were mostly greens, browns, rusts, and yellows. The earthy colors of Burgundy!

To visit the web site for Fresnais's Sampigny Pottery, chick here.

Hope you enjoyed today's visit to a different area of France. Don't forget to stop by Susan @ Summer Daydreamer for a list of other blogs participating in Outdoor Wednesday.

To read more about Sampigny Pottery, I recommend that you visit Barb @ L'Ardlier Vert - Everything French Gardening. Barb has visited the Fresnais' home and studio and shares this delightful experience on her blog. You'll see wonderful photos and learn more about this talented couple.

I plan to post more photos from my trip to the Market on my blog, Hyacinths For The Soul. If interested in learning more about the market, go to
International Folk Art Market.
Or view the video clip below.

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market from David Moore on Vimeo.

Don't forget the Quimper Club International's 10th Anniversary Meeting to be held in Dallas, TX October 21-25. If you haven't yet sent in your registration materials, now is the time to do just that. The deadline for returning the registration materials is fast approaching. Forms received postmarked after september 25 will incur a $50 late registration fee.

For those of you who are not yet members, you'll find links to the QCI on the sidebar. The 10th Anniversary Meeting is going to be a special event. You won't want to miss this one!


  1. Looks like a cool event to attend.

  2. What a wonderful event and it was held in such a beautiful place. I'm glad you enjoyed your time there. Your photos are lovely. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  3. Bonjour Sarah,
    What a great 1st post for the QCI blog, I've been waiting to hear about this event all summer.
    It was well worth the wait!
    a bientot
    Maggie @ Normandy Life

  4. Very interesting.

    If you get a minute I would always enjoy you stopping.

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

  5. What a great event and beautiful pictures.
    Have a nice day

  6. I LOVE that pottery platter!!!!

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  7. Sarah, how interesting. I love learning about other areas of France. This must have been quite an event. Hand made things are so special. Great job on your first post, look forward to the ones to come.

  8. What a wonderful event. This looks like so much fun. Their talent is amazing. They throw some beautiful pottery. Thanks for sharing a great post..hugs ~~lynne~~

  9. State College, PA has an annual arts festival. I love looking at all the art. I can't afford most things, but in addition to the crafts, there was performing arts, too.

  10. When so many businesses are in jeopardy how lovely to hear about people who are successfully producing pottery .....

  11. Oh my gosh, what a fabulous creative experience! Those art pieces are gorgeous -- and is this your first post????

    Congratulations! You did amazingly well. My first post didn't even have a picture, and I never expected anyone to ever read it. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone ever DID!


  12. Sarah, the Frenais's pottery is wildly delightful--thanks for the introduction! Laverne

  13. Sarah, How interesting! I love all of your photographs. You are quite the blogger!