Anouk Bonhomme, from the potter’s wheel to the high meadows (and vice-versa!)
Anouk Bonhomme is a potter and shepherd. From her workshop in Les Gets (or rather the workshop she shares with her sister, Nathalie), it’s no distance to reach her sheep – at the Lassare farm, up on high, in the heart of high Alpine meadows and just a stone’s throw from the centre of this famous Portes du Soleil resort. Standing at more than 1300 metres, this is a natural stopping-off point for all those heading to Mont Chéry, with its charming countryside feel. It’s not hard to warm to being in the great outdoors or be inspired by it and rest a moment, although it is true that Anouk’s tame sheep may spoil that peace when they pay an occasional visit to the family shop…
Of course, this wonderful setting plays a big role in whetting the two sisters’ creative appetite. Anouk throws clay on the wheel and makes all sorts of bowls, pitchers, plates, cups and the like, while Nathalie paints each one with a fine touch. It’s real teamwork, where the know-how of each artist gives rise to unique pieces in the image of their creators. Gentle themes, fresh and simple, all brought together with a hint of innocence.
Anouk’s back story is marked by pragmatism. This shepherd-cum-potter is one of many multifaceted mountain folk who remain so attached to their home, and who have found a way to combine traditional livestock farming with another profession. So, with one part of her work being so seasonal and nomadic, Anouk is able to retain a close relationship with her animals and the mountain environment. The remaining part – more sedentary and hands-on – places an emphasis on being at one with the earth. Last but not least, these two vocations are a way for this “Getoise” local to make a living from what Mother Nature chooses to provide, whether it’s from inert materials or living creatures – or vice-versa.
Anouk was born into a farming family, so it was only natural that she learned about animal rearing from her father. Lambs and heifers are an open book for her. As she takes the animals out to pasture, she makes the most of her favourite places in the hills, which give her an opportunity to get her fill of fresh mountain air.
As for Anouk’s passion for pottery, it came suddenly, when she was a teenager. She was at a fair for old crafts that she was immediately fascinated by the beauty of the deft work of the master potters and their magical movements. After this revelation, Anouk began throwing clay and she’s never looked back. Soothing, relaxing, her approach to pottery has something meditative about it, focusing on the sense of touch. In time with the wheel, she lets her instinct combine with her technique, transforming little by little the raw clay into elegant pieces of pottery.
Stoneware meets fresh mountain air…enter a world of poetry.
This is Les Gets' artisanal pottery. In this little corner of paradise, with sheep bleating gently outside, you'll find Anouk and Nathalie. The two sisters always have a smile for anyone who wants to find out about their engaging work and the animals in the barn. A must for the family!
Artisanal pottery workshop in Les Gets, in a nutshell:
- Open since 2008
- Two inseparable sisters who are passionate about their work: Anouk (Nook), crafting and shaping; Nathalie (Naah), decoration;
- Workshop, shop, barn, animals (ewes, heifers, lambs, rams...)
- Guided tours and workshops for apprentice potter
- Smiles, poetry, goat's milk and a warm welcome!