Tag Archives: pottery

Bij Tante Lief

11 Sep

This past summer while we were in Belgium we were invited to spend an afternoon in the ceramics studio of a very talented aunt of my husband.  Tante Lief has been making the most beautiful plates, bowls, platters, figurines and jewelry for years and every time I visit I fall more in love with everything she does.  I have bowls from Lief that I’ve been using for over 15 years and they’re still in perfect shape.

We arrived at their house mid-afternoon and the kids started playing with the clay within minutes.  In the end there were over 10 cousins busily modelling clay into the most beautiful creations.

All the kids had lots of ideas of what they wanted to make.  My daughters opted for chickens while my son a volcano (go figure).  Tante Lief was the perfect teacher and was busily running around from one kid to the next helping and giving tips.  Even though she had so many small kids in her studio she was relaxed as can be and the kids had the most wonderful afternoon (the adults as well).

After the sculpting we all took a break for some amazing home-made pizzas (thanks to Nonkel Jan!).  By the time we were done eating the pieces were dry enough to be painted.  There was lots of discussing and contemplating before the perfect colours were chosen.

After a fantastic day we all left and Tante Lief promised she would bake all of our pieces and get them to us as soon as she could.  And luckily for us she dropped by our house in Italy this past week-end and the kids got to see their finished creations for the first time.

 And they are proud!



25 Nov

If you’re ever in the South of France and happen to be close to a town called Apt I would strongly recommend that you stop and visit the most beautiful pottery shop in the world.  My first time visiting the shop was about 5 or 6 years ago.  We were meandering through the market on a chilly spring day and we happened to pass this tiny little colourful shop on a corner of a little piazza.  The bowls in the windows were stacked from floor to ceiling.  The colours were so bright and cheerful we couldn’t help ourselves from going in to take a look.  My mother bought me 3 beautiful bowls with stripes and polka dots.  Despite the relatively thin terracotta that they are made of these bowls are very durable (ie. they survived 5 years in a house with 3 small children).

This past summer we found ourselves once again in the area of Apt so of course we went for a visit.  After walking around in circles in the centre of Apt we finally found it again and it was just as we had remembered it.  Still the same colourful bowls and dishes and still the same old bearded man making them in the corner of the shop.  In the end we stayed and chatted with him for over and hour.  A very interesting man with an amazingly artistic family.

I ended up buying quite a few bowls, plates and jugs this time.  That purple and striped salad bowl in the upper right hand corner of this photo became mine!

My complete collection which I use on a daily basis.

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