The artistic village of Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie is known as the capital of ceramics. More than 20 potters have their workshops dotted around the centre, along with over 20 other craftsmen and women. Therefore, a good place to start when visiting Saint-Quentin-de-la-Poterie is the Mediterranean Pottery Museum- or Musée de la Poterie Méditerranéenne. Housed in a former olive oil mill, this museum explains the history of ceramics in the Mediterranean region.
The family and I stayed in Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie for a little holiday. Chéri and the kids are not really into pottery, though. Therefore, I decided to visit the Pottery Museum at my own pace, thinking I’d quickly take a tour. The collection is spread over 400 m2 in 11 rooms on two floors. Even though the museum is modestly sized, its layout and permanent exposition are a perfect introduction before visiting the workshops of the potters in the village. I found it surprisingly interesting and spent an hour or so diving into the ceramic world.
The tour starts with the actual mill, once activated by a donkey, and various examples of Mediterranean vases to stock the olive oil. Via a small gallery with diverse ceramic utensils explaining the daily life of Mediterranean people, I went to the first floor. This was my favourite part of the museum, as I loved how the objects were presented in an inspirational terracotta colour scheme.
The Pottery Museum opened its doors in 1998 thanks to the private ceramic collection of Arnaud Maurières and Eric Ossart. The museum now houses two vast collections. One shows the traditional glazed terracottas from Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, including the clay pipes, bricks and tiles from the Job Clerc factory. The other exhibits 700 ceramic articles with various functions from the Mediterranean countries around. On top of that, the museum yearly highlights a new exhibition around a specific theme, artist or collection.