Famous for traditional pottery, Dieulefit is a small village in the Drôme, north of the Baronnies Provençales regional natural park. Located 28 km south of Les Bastets campsite in the Drôme province, and about 30 minutes by car, it is worth a visit for anyone who appreciates arts and crafts. It’s a must-visit in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region for your camping holidays in the Drôme.
History of pottery
Pottery refers to ceramic products designed for functional or decorative purposes. Such is the case with pots, dishes and other containers. The history of pottery in the country of Dieulefit-Bourdeaux started more than 2000 years ago. The activity developed thanks to the presence of clay in the soil, as well as water from the Rhône and forests. The workshops flourished during the Gallo-Roman period, but it was only more recently, in the 19th century, that pottery took off in the Jabron valley, the river that crosses Dieulefit. These days, there are then a hundred workshops in activity.
Today, the tradition continues. The main street of the village and the surrounding area are dotted with ceramic workshops and art galleries, which fascinates visitors every year. The history of pottery in Dieulefit is closely linked to the history of art in the region, which has always attracted painters, photographers and other artists who came for the light of Provence and the colorful landscapes of Drôme.
House of Ceramics
Anyone who is interested in diving deep into the world of pottery has to visit the House of Ceramics located in the Parc de la Baume. This cultural center, created in 1995, has a space dedicated to the history of pottery in the region. We learn about the different uses of pottery through the ages, the manufacturing techniques used, and how the workshops have evolved over the centuries. Temporary exhibitions devoted to contemporary creations are also held throughout the year.
In addition to being a museum and an exhibition space, the House of Ceramics is a place of training and also offers workshops for the whole family. There are lessons in turning and modeling, porcelain courses over a weekend, and workshops reserved for children or pottery activities to do with the family.
The self-guided tour costs €4. A guided tour is €10 per person.
The workshops and galleries of Dieulefit
Throughout the village, mainly rue du Bourg, workshops, art galleries and souvenir shops show and sell local original creations. This is the case, for example, in Craft Espace Gallery, the Artenostrum Gallery, or the Kurt Stockman Studio. Some places also offer demonstrations of pottery turning.
Take a stroll of the village and discover even more ceramics, each one more beautiful than the other. The workshops and galleries of the village have signed a charter with the aim of guaranteeing the quality and authenticity of their productions—the “Dieulefit Original” label. The label indicates that a creation was entirely produced in the workshops of Dieulefit-Bourdeau. It’s hard not to resist the idea of bringing back some memories of their camping stay in the Drôme Provençale.