Terrienne is a small pottery workshop in the 11th arrondissement where it is possible to learn the art of throwing clay in the form of a short course or an ongoing learning process. Run by Alexis Duclos, an American expatriate renowned for her method of teaching, the workshop is small and intimate with just 5 pottery wheels, which really facilitates individual progress as well as a group spirit. Located Rue Lacharrière, Terrienne is at the heart of a traditionally artisanal neighbourhood alongside an interesting selection of other businesses, notably ‘L’Autre Thé’, a delightful tea room with tables spilling out onto the street. In addition, the nearby leafy Square Maurice Gardette provides a peaceful backdrop for any type of artwork, proving that the workshop really is perfectly placed and an escape from stress and work commitments.
Upon entering, it is pleasantly surprising to see a tightly knit group of keen students from all walks of life uniting and sharing the experience of throwing clay. It is impossible not to feel instantly at home; while individual projects were being completed, Alexis spoke of the workshops history as a dairy and then a hardware store, showing me photos from ten years ago when she and her husband renovated the premises. One of Terrienne’s defining factors is its wonderful history, and much of this has been conserved through the decor as cabinets from the hardware shop line the walls and the dairy’s marble worktop runs down one side. On top of this, Alexis’s command of French and English makes courses attractive to both French natives and English speakers, allowing both communities to interact easily, speeding up the process of learning wither language.
With regards to the classes, these take two forms. Firstly, the weekly option is divided up into sections of 12 lessons, meaning that it is possible to experience a taste of pottery or commit to lessons for a year. Either way, payment is divided into 12 week sections costing 480€, making the learning experience accessible and flexible. Inversely, the stage is a five day intensive course from Monday to Friday during the summer months, giving a brilliant boost for enthusiastic beginners. This block of classes costs 300€ including clay and firing costs.
In all, Terrienne is an opportunity not to be missed and it is essential to reserve quickly due to limited numbers per class. If not to learn the art of throwing clay, commit to mixing with other nationalities and discovering your creative side. In order to get a feeling of what is on offer, visit Alexis in the workshop during the Journées des Métiers d’Art between the 1st and 3rd April. On Friday 1st April, there will be demonstrations and on Saturday 2nd, it is possible to visit during teaching hours and observe (Workshop is closed on Sunday 3rd April).
Address: 21 rue Lacharrière, 75011
Telephone: 01 43 55 15 30
Métro: St-Ambroise (Line 9), Rue St-Maur (Line 3)
Opening Hours: Monday evening 18:00 – 20:30, Tuesday afternoon 15:00 – 17:30, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 19:00 – 21:30, Saturday 10:00 – 12:30/14:30 – 17:00
(Please book an appointment before visiting)