Discover the magic of the pottery tradition in Puisaye, an emblematic region of this artistic craft in France. Renowned for its unique sandstone and historical know-how, Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye is the jewel of this land of art and history. Explore the wealth of our artistic artisans and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of artisanal ceramics in Burgundy.

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La Puisaye, land of pottery two hours from Paris

Ancestral treasure of Puisaye and famous for centuries by its unique sandstone quality and its reputation in France and internationally, ceramics have risen to the 21st century to share this precious heritage with us and transmit the art of local know-how.

How to identify a signature on pottery?

Generally speaking, all pottery from Puisaye has a signature inscribed on its piece. It’s a way for the craftsman to leave his mark and be easily recognized.

How to make pottery yourself?

You can buy raw material directly from our local companies. Ceradel in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye but also in Solargil in Moutiers-en-Puisaye. You can also participate in courses offered all year round

What is the tool for making pottery called?

The most common traditional tool used to shape pottery is called a “potter's wheel”. This equipment allows the potter to shape the clay by rotating it on a motorized plate, which facilitates the creation of ceramic objects. Other tools such as roughs, spatulas and sponges are also used to carve, smooth and decorate pottery.

What is the origin of pottery?

The origin of pottery dates back to prehistoric times, making pottery one of the oldest forms of art and craft created by man. The first pottery was made by the first human civilizations thousands of years ago. Early potters used local clay to fashion vessels and utilitarian objects.

Pottery played an essential role in the evolution of human societies, allowing for the storage of food, liquids and other essential goods. Over time, pottery became a means of artistic expression, with elaborate decoration and glazing techniques. Pottery traditions have evolved around the world, and each culture has made its own contribution to this age-old art. Today, pottery is both a craft and a creative art, practiced in many regions of the globe.

What is the difference between pottery and ceramics?

The fundamental difference is essentially found in the creation technique, cooking and soils used. The potter uses terracotta as a material, a mixture of clay and marl, the ceramist uses clay only.

Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, capital of pottery in Puisaye

Located to the north of Nièvre, the village of Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, baptized “Capital of pottery” and labeled “Cities and Crafts”, is anchored in this artisanal tradition since the 14th century thanks to its clayey soil. Recognized by its numerous potters and ceramists, their creations of both artistic and utilitarian pieces have been able to express the aesthetics and practicality that have made the village's reputation.

The village of Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye houses in its castle the Sandstone Museum in which an admirable collection of ancient sandstones fashioned by renowned artists is exhibited: Jean-Joseph Carriès, Paul Jeanneney, Théo Perrot etc. Another remarkable place: The House of Pottery Memory located in the former Cadet-Gaubier pottery, it traces the history and perpetuates the gesture of this art in buildings typical of local production and in the 19th century atmosphere.

La Poterie de la Bâtisse, a history of sandstone for 15 generations

Another emblematic place of this tradition in Burgundy: the Poterie de la Bâtisse. Present in the small village of Moutiers-en-Puisaye, a stone's throw from the village of Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, 15 generations of land artisans have succeeded one another to bring this place to life and bring him the fame he deserves.

The old part of the place, no longer adapted to today's techniques. It was transformed into living-museum in order to transmit to visitors the heritage and techniques of this art. The workshop from the 1930s, still in use, in which ceramists turn and shape their pieces is accessible to people wishing to discover timeless know-how.

The Galerie de l'Ancienne Poste, a mecca for contemporary ceramics in Puisaye

Anne Nguyen Dao

The Galerie de l'Ancienne Poste, based in Toucy, has been an emblematic place for the exhibition of contemporary artistic ceramics since 1997. Visitors and collectors will discover, in varied forms of expression, art ceramic pieces created by internationally renowned artists.

Train in the ceramics profession at Ema-Cnifop and the Couvent de Treigny

In Puisaye, it is possible to train in ceramics professions for a day, a week or for several months: 

  • À theEMA-CNIFOP, an international training center for the arts and ceramics professions, located in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, allows its trainees to develop professionally in the field of ceramics through diploma training and personalized internships around ceramics and courses/activities on earth.
  • Au Convent of Treigny, a former 18th century convent built in the center of the village, modeling workshops for children, adults or families are offered by reservation during school holidays. Technical courses for adults led by professional potters are organized all year round by reservation.

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