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Pumpkins are not just for Halloween

Rians, a small village in the Haut Var, holds a Pumpkin Festival in October. It is the highlight of the year and people come from far and wide to buy pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, together with a seemingly endless range of pumpkin products. When we lived there, I would set up my pottery stall with bowls and platters and salt pots and various oddities inspired by the voluptuous curves of these versatile fruits. The oranges and pinks were easy to reproduce on my white-glazed faience (earthenware) and the deep terracotta body complemented them well.

Our recent visit coincided with the festival weekend and the realisation that I have missed my pumpkins! A potter from Draguignan* was exhibiting and I bought some lovely pumpkin shaped raku-fired bowls.

* Christine Garcin-Gossiaux


My challenge now is to recreate some

of my own pumpkin

ideas in stoneware.

Having brought a small bag of clay with me (essential holiday packing when not restricted by air travel) I have already made a few cane-toppers in white stonewareand plan to experiment with oxides and shino glaze


Some cheese platters and bowls are appearing

in the doodles on my desk and I am itching to return to the studio.

They might not be ready for the end of this month, but then pumpkins are not just about Halloween!

Meanwhile, the autumnal colours of Provence are magnificent in the October sunshine – yet more inspiration!

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