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22 February 2019

Terre Précieuse, between Japan and Brittany

Brittany is a discrete, wild and untouched land. A place built on legends and myths where one’s imagination and inspiration can only be limited by the seascape.

©Eric le Guillou

We’re headed to the Morbihan, in La Chapelle-Caro where Alice Urien and Olivier Ruaud have established their studio-workshop “Terre Précieuse” since 2004.

Two people brought together by a passion for pottery

From a young age, Alice had a passion for clay. She decided to take this passion further by studying Applied Arts in Rennes. She then attended the prestigious “école Olivier de Serres” in Paris followed by CNIFOP.

As for Olivier, he started pottery almost by coincidence, almost by magic. Previously working in a restaurant in Canada, he came across this craft as he was looking for plates for his restaurant. Fascinated by it, Olivier committed to this art to pursue his newfound passion.

Raku, an ancestral technique from Japan

After following the traditional steps of drawing, turning, modelling, sanding and dusting off a ceramic piece, a Raku finish can be applied. Originally, Raku is a technique used during tea ceremonies in XVIth century Japan.

Pieces are heated up to 1000°C. Once the glaze melted, the pieces are taken out of the kiln and cooled down in open air. In turn, a thermal choc occurs which causes crazing on the glaze surface. Once in contact with plants, smoke starts coming from the cracks causing the glaze to strengthen and calligraphy-like drawings appear. Finally, the pieces are cooled down and cleaned before revealing their final appearance.

Demanding in patience, perseverance, strength and spontaneity, Raku is a fascinating technique according to Alice and Olivier.

« We like the freedom of expression this technique offers, playing with contrasts, colours and textures ».

You can find Alice, Olivier and all of their creations at their studio-workshop and on their Facebook page.

We would like to thank Corine Gillard from Crealouest. Supported by the Brittany Region, Crealouest lists and references all the events in the West of France: markets, shops, art & craft fairs…

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