July 30, 2017

Taking in the view at La Perdrix

As someone who has a keen interest in ceramics, my course trip to La Perdrix was a perfect getaway. We were to be spending a week deep in the French countryside, surrounded by beautiful scenery, sun and of course – clay!

Stepping off the plane and noticing the change in climate I instantly knew this was going to be an amazing week. We were whisked off to Bordeaux to explore the city and saw the famous sights such as the fountain, Le Miroir d’eau and the Rue Sainte-Catherine.


Resisting the temptation to take a dip in Le Miroir d’eau…

Afterwards we were driven back to La Perdrix, located near the town of Ribérac in the Dordogne area, where we unpacked and were fed a hearty, much-looked-forward-to meal. The first night we spent all watching a film together in the house’s beautiful study.

La Perdrix is a gorgeous setting.

The next day we were hard at work – almost the whole day flew by without us noticing! One of the main highlights of the trip was being taught how to throw clay properly, what made it even better was the fact that we did it outside in the beautiful sunshine surrounded by music and friends.


Learning how to throw in the gorgeous sunshine!

The day after followed in the same suit – we had been set a task for the week to create a tableware dinner set inspired by a different decade we were given. I was given the 70s and so of course chose a punk theme! We were also making miniature reliquaries out of primitive clay with a paper porcelain structure inside. These were going to be fired in a bonfire at the end of the week, alongside some raku firing we would also be doing.


Part of my dinner set

The rest of the week passed too fast for my liking, but was spent between day trips to the surrounding area and spending more time throwing and handbuilding with clay. We visited various markets, vintage and junk shops, I particularly enjoyed the second hand clothes stall where I picked up a few shirts at bargain prices!

So many great bargains at the market.

My favourite trip out, however, was to a lovely little town called Aubeterre-sur-Drone situated on a hillside overlooking a river and the surrounding countryside. Aubeterre boasts having the largest subterranean church in Europe – an underground church carved out of limestone entirely by hand some 900 years ago. After an audio tour and a much needed ice-cream break we headed to the river for a little paddle and swim.

Who doesn’t love ice cream?!

Another great feature of this trip was the food, all freshly prepared and delicious! Everybody on the trip had a part to play in this, everyday two different people in the group would take turns providing breakfast, lunch and a three course meal dinner for everybody, using money from a kitty we all contributed to. The last night we had a fancy dress dinner party, going as our decade and everybody had fun dressing up!

Fancy dress night was so much fun!

I had an absolutely amazing time in La Perdrix and would all do it again in a heartbeat. If you ever get a chance to go on this trip then I highly recommend it.

There are lots of travel opportunites at Cardiff School of Art and Design – check out Toni’s visit to South Korea or Jenny’s textiles trip to India.