We just had the pleasure of attending a week-long pottery course with Sylph Baier. Sylph is a wonderful creative teacher who was very open to what we wanted to do and learn. She goes above and beyond in terms of service not only with the pottery but the accommodation, food and transport. Her place is so relaxing with wonderful birds, wildlife and her pet dog, cat, chickens and sheep. There are lovely walks in the valley and forest, if you can pull yourself away from the pottery that is. All in all this was one of our best and most creative holidays ever and the memories will be relived daily as we use our mugs and bowls produced during our blissful weeks work.
Sylph is an amazing instructor who is flexible to cater for what the student wants to achieve. We had completed a pottery throwing course prior to our visit which really got us off to a great start. Sylph took us through every stage of the process from clay preparation to final glazing and firing. We even got to make our own glaze. Her enthusiasm for pottery is infectious and many evenings after dinner we sat watching videos and looking at her excellent collection of ceramics books for inspiration. The creative freedom she allowed us to have really made the holiday. I got to indulge in many decorative techniques whereas my husband could indulge more in the technical and functional design he loves. I think for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in pottery, this is the ultimate paradise. The fact that we got to bring home our pottery means we will be reminded daily of the holiday as we use our mugs, bowls colander etc. of our wonderful holiday. What more could you want.
The accommodation in the gite is fabulous. Sylph had everything laid on. Tea (regular, herbal), coffee, fruit, a selection of juices, milk and fresh bread, croissants, etc. Everything you need for the week-long course is there from the TV with all the channels to hairdryer towels, etc. Numerous mornings Sylph delivered freshly baked bread presented in one of her many baskets. The gite is decorated with many pieces of beautiful ceramics, paintings and sculpture. The firewood is piled up at the fireside and there was nothing nicer that sitting down by a big fire at the end of a fun filled creative day.
The stairs are quite steep up to the bedrooms which could be an issue for some but the ensuite bedrooms are beautifully decorated and most importantly the bed is really comfy.
Outside there are numerous areas to sit and chill in the sun, not only outside the gite but around the 4-acre site, by the river, in the woods etc. We really enjoyed our stay.
The pottery week-long course includes all your meals including wine. Breakfast (bread, cereals, fresh eggs from Sylphs chickens, yoghurt, fruit juice, croissants, etc) is provided in the gite and you just help yourself. Sylph took us to a different local restaurant each day to sample the 3 course Plat du Jour and local Bordeaux wines.
In the evening she cooked amazing wholefood meals, salads, pasta, risotto with many of the ingredients coming from her organic garden. Desserts were to die for and included many of Sylphs own recipes for semolina cake, tarts etc. Each meal was prefaced with a different local aperitif, and wine during the meal.
If all the above was not enough there was also a tea/coffee break mid-morning and afternoon and a cool refreshing G&T at the end of the working day by the table outside the studio.