Last week I was welcomed into the atelier of ceramic artist Martine Guimet located in the beautiful hilltop village of St-Saturnin-les-Apt. I must say that I am quite in love with her work.
Martine makes plaques, tabletops, and sundials out of lava stone from the volcanoes of the Auvergne region of France. She discovered the material when she lived there 25 years ago and has since moved to Provence to interpret her own version of these enameled plaques. Volcanic lava stone is unique because it can support huge shifts in temperature, which is perfect for keeping your plaque outdoors in Provence.
Martine incorporates Provencal colours and imagery to create number plaques, garden markers and signs for outside such as “Les Oliviers” or “La Petit Maison” or “Côté Jardin” or “Place de l’Apéro” (some of my favourites). These plaques perfectly embody my idealized view of owning a home here in Provence.
Martine can make a plaque inscribed with whatever you please; she often works for local towns or businesses. She also creates her own sundials but these can only be placed on a wall that is level and facing exactly south.
Visit the Atelier
You can visit Martine’s atelier on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays afternoons from 4pm-7pm. She will always welcome you warmly and even show you how she creates her enameled plaques. Her friend, Anne, sells most of her work at the local markets where you can buy one of these wonderful signs reminiscent of turn of the 2oth century antique French street signs, for 55 euros.
To find her work ‘sur la marché’:
Lundi : Forcalquier
Mardi : Gordes
Mercredi : St-Rémy-de-Provence
Jeudi : Rousillion
Vendredi : Saint-Saturnin-D’Apt/Eygalièrs
Samedi : Uzès
Dimanche : Coustellet
If you’d like to see more of Martine’s work: Martine Guimet