Thursday, October 4, 2007

La tuile à loup

La Tuile à loup, www.latuilealoup is a delightful little ‘boutique unique’ located slightly off the beaten path in the 5th arrondisement. For anyone with even a minor attraction to handmade ceramics, this is a must-stop shop. Many years ago my francophile mom, who is mad for all things handmade and French, discovered La Tuile à loup and for years since our family has listened to the details about her annual pilgrimages to this Mecca of French artisan crafts. Alas, this week I made my first visit.
The main thrust of the store is artisan pottery, in all its French historical glory; Standard items such as plates, cups and bowls are evidently on hand as are spice containers, egg cups, terrines and just fabulous creations that are simply for viewing pleasure. The owner hand selects, with true passion and loving detail I might add, the work that fills the boutique. Some artisans may be working in a traditional style like the classic French countryside look of the Savoy, with its brighter colors and cute floral or animal motifs (see photo), and others are truly contemporary such as the Provencal artisans who make hand built, purposefully imperfectly shaped dishes with simple off-white glazes and black, calligraphic like markings. One my personal favorites is the ‘poterie utlitaire de la Puisaye’ (functional pottery from Puisaye), with its earthy, darker toned glazes that have a rough hewn, utilitarian look. I have a Puisaye pitcher that is used to hold a plant. I love it.

Not to be neglected is the wonderful selection of baskets, textiles and wood items also on display. Who can’t have enough sturdy French linen dishtowels or colorful cotton tablecloths from Provence? Here you can find the real deal on these items, not some bad, tourist knock-off. The boutique only has quality work which is steeped in tradition.


ebrown said...

Thanks for the pictures and great description of what sounds like a pottery-enthusiasts' heaven! I'm curious, where exactly is La tuile a loup? I'm assuming Paris, but where exactly? The link didn't seem to work. Also, do you know where exactly your favorite, the "poterie utlitaire de la Puisaye" is made? I'm starting to import handmade pottery from France, in addition to Spain and Italy, and I'm always looking for cool new producers. Thanks!

pilar chapin said...

Sorry the link didn't work. The address is 35 rue daubenton, in the 5th. The owner, Eric is super kind and would love to talk with you.
Puisaye is in the Burgundy region of France. have never been there personally but love their ceramics!
Hope this helps.

Ann said...

This store is heaven for pottery enthusiasts. More than a decade ago, I used to live nearby and over a period of four to five years purchased several items. If you want to import handmade pottery, you best go have a look in person, they represent a variety of regional artists, who produce in limited quantities of very high quality. While not cheap, it is worth every Euro and more. In addition to some provincial flower pots, I purchased several small glazed terracotta plates from season to season, each hand painted with a different farm animal. Chickens, goats, turkey, squirrel, pig, cows, bulls, etc. - they are detailed with remarkable character, utterly charming and completely unique without being the least bit kitsch. The owners are very friendly and helpful. While I would hate to see anything this store sells mass produced, I also want to see the artisans who make these wares (as well as the shop's proprietors) prosper and pass their their craft on to future generations.