Description: Dieulefit means "God made it," but in this small, Provencal town, there is little evidence of a single deity at work. Rather, there are many inspired artisans at their wheels, creating pottery and ceramic accessories ranging from traditional country stoneware for everyday cooking and dining to striking contemporary ceramics for the serious collector.
Situated in the northern reach of Provence, a region little explored by Americans, Dieulefit is as accessible and appealing as the Luberon, the area in southern Provence. Dieulefit and the surrounding countryside offer up a feast for the senses. An area diverse in natural colors, textures and scents, this lush land is a haven for the creative spirit. The tradition of pottery making in the region is as rich as the precious clay that supplied commercial potters in the late 1800s. Today, however, most of the local artisans get their raw materials from producers throughout France.
The utilitarian nature of the original rural wares finds a distinct counterpoint in the more decorative items that are currently available in the area's many ateliers, galleries and commercial stores. One of the more prominent names in the region is that of the Mourre family, headed by Roger and Yvette Mourre, first generation potters who have been producing classic earthenware for nearly 48 years.
Viewing the pottery-making process is more like peering over the artisan's shoulder than witnessing a formal demonstration. The reserved yet cordial Roger Mourre answers questions in French, with communication greatly enhanced through gesture or nod of a head for those who don't know the language. He works with only one other potter, and almost any day of the week (except Sunday) visitors can watch the two artists creating handcrafted items that range from small serving bowls to large, one-of-a-kind, lamp bases, a few hand-painted with graceful floral motifs.