Tuesday, October 6, 2009

La Tuilerie

Over in Tasmania, Little Jenny Wren took her camera on a Sunday walk to a park built in an old brickworks. This reminded me that our favourite local walk includes an old tuilerie too - this is where local clay was made into roof tiles (tuiles) and, I think, bricks.
This morning I went off on my usual cycle ride after the school bike run, and I headed down from the college to the Coulée Verte, or Green Way, which belongs to our town. The sky was beautiful and the river was very peaceful and calming. What a way to begin the day!Although the plants think it's autumn, the weather still thinks it's summer, which is a very beautiful combination. A little along the river is an old water mill. If I'm right, the bricks for this were surely made in our tuilerie?A loop around the parcours sportif (jogging route) took me slowly towards the town lake. It's an odd shape, clearly excavated by humans rather than natural. Surely it was the old clay pit for the nearby tile manufacturers?Meeting only a small, elderly jockey on his elegant horse (we stopped for a chat about a pheasant he'd just seen), I cycled up the track, bemoaning my early-morning French, and came out on the road just before the tuilerie.These beautiful, flat bricks are just like Roman ones. The Romans brought the art of brick-making to our area and it was never forgotten.
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Because the old tuilerie building has decorative tiles on it, I assume that they made patterned, glazed tiles here too, although it's all conjecture. Given the area's tile-making past, and our sons' tendency to pick up anything they find, I shouldn't have been surprised to find this sitting on our sofa one evening last week!
But I was, because it's rather more special than the modern nuts and bolts with which they normally fill their pockets! It's a design that has been made since medieval times, although this could easily be much newer - say nineteenth century? It's a piece of floor tile.Son 2 turned out to be the culprit, and he was quite surprised at how much I liked his latest find. We went out to the spoil heap where he'd found it (diggers have been along our road, excavating the ditch) and found a few more bits and pieces of pottery, although I'm not sure they originally came from the same part of the road.Perhaps some good comes out of having a mum who studied archaeology - at least she's less likely to freak when she finds dirty bits of tile on her sofa!
I decided to display Son 2's finds around my own broken teapot find (from a Troc shop), with a few pieces of beach pottery that came with the tub of beach glass that I bought at the Vide Grenier.

Looking at the photo of the resulting display (fish tongs, hearts, broken teapot, pottery sherds...) I have to say that it looks eccentric, to put it kindly. But we are very happy with it...

18 comments:

Lululiz said...

My goodness, now you have little archeologists in the making as well! Isn't it great that they find such interesting things? I have to admit, I would have picked up those lovely shards as well.

Lucy Pursglove-Jones said...

You always take such charming pictures, Floss. I loke the acorn one. We have a huge Oak in our front garden that's dropping a bumper harvest of acorns this year!. Xx

Sarah said...

Boys always seem to have an ability to pick up 'treasures'. My two quite often have a pocket full of what they consider 'crystals'!! - shiny stones really...

VintageVicki said...

That looks such a perfect cycle ride - so many things to see.

Love all the bits your boys have found. We seem to be breeding conkers here atm - little son comes home with pockets full each night.

Itch2stitch.com said...

It all looks so beautiful where you are! I love finding bits of old pots, tiles, etc. I seem to find them sometimes when gardening. I keep them all, thinking that one day they will all be used in a mosaic! Suzie. xx

Elizabethd said...

What lovely fresh colours on the tiles. Doesnt it make you wonder where they've been, what they've seen?

Sarah said...

Acorns! They bring back such lovely childhood memories. My mother planted an acorn as a very small child and we got the benefit from it when we were children, visiting our grandparents. It grew huge and we would swing from it and pick up the acorns that fell.

I love those tile pieces your son found. We don't get anything like that in our pockets. Must be a boy thing. I'm lucky if I get a note for someone else or a leftover cracker.

I think your little display is lovely and if you like it that's all that matters.

Serenata said...

What a lovely bike ride - delightful.

I used to collect pieces of pottery as well - um... actually still do!
I always wanted to be an archaeologist as a child and dig up dinosaur bones!

Pomona said...

I never knew that tuilerie was anything to do with tiles - I love finding out new little nuggets like that! Because we live in an oldish cottage, our boys used to find lots of china bits when they were digging in the back garden - certain patches were obviously just old rubbish dumps. I think your display is rather nice - it shows that you don't have to buy new, and that there is an odd beauty in the detritus of the past!

Pomona x

Michela said...

When I read the title of your post I thought you were in Paris today! Love your display and it doesn't look eccentric at all..simply ingenious!

Catherine said...

A beautiful, eye catching display! Much impressed!

Della said...

I love broken pottery/china...my siblings and I used to dig in garbage piles for it, now that I think of it, kind of yucky. But it was a score of fun then!

I left you something on my blog. :)

Mami said...

I love today's pics. Some of interesting tiles are rarely and nice display. You have a good sense of interior and your sons findings always bring you fun.

Chandra said...

I quite adore your blog!! I just found it...I now follow! Thanks for being a sunny spot :)

The Curious Cat said...

What beautiful fragments - how wonderful! Such rich colours! To think what they might have been like in their glory days! xxx

juanitatortilla said...

Why not? Collectively, this broken teapot with bits of history do tell a story.

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hello Floss
What a lovely looking place. Your sons did well picking up some lovely bits of tiles and that tea pot! The colours are wonderful and after all this time too! Our back garden is still full of broken jars, plates victorian medicine bottles, ale bottles etc..., so much that we'll never finish clearing it all by the time top soil arrives. Hoping to do a mosaic with some of them eventually.
Take care
Isabelle x

Florence and Mary said...

It might look eccentric but I like it!

Victoria x