Meet Gerard the Potter

Publié le 16 January 2020,

A unique know-how

The Morzine-Avoriaz Tourist Office has decided to present a series of portraits of emblematic figures of our village and Morzinois know-how.
In this first portrait we met Gérard le Potier, today he tells us his story and his affection for his profession.
Gérard's story :

"I’m Gerard In Morzine, I just go by the nickname « Gege the potter ».
Here we are in my workshop and salesroom where I make traditional pottery.
People often ask me “why don’t you make modern things ?”
NO, We’re in the mountains here, in Morzine, this is Savoie and we need to preserve the local culture.
So, making traditional Savoyard pottery, one part of it is the throwing of the pot, the clay, which is about feeling.
When throwing pots, it is all about feel. Then there’s the visual side of the decoration, creating colours and patterns and there is an extraordinary escape in that.
We have to try to keep the traditions alive purely and simply because they are the main identity of Savoie and the main identity of the village of Morzine.
The shop itself is the interior of a chalet. You come in to the “home” of the potter and there is something intimate in that, you don’t see that intimacy of a potter’s workshop these days.
So, when I welcome people in, I am not necessarily very clean, I have a dirty apron, dirty hands…
But all that is part of the art of hospitality really. It’s a very family atmosphere.I think people who come to Morzine enjoy that.
In any case, it’s very simple,
I am now onto the fourth generation of people who buy my pottery, so I always ask them why they come generation after generation.
Grandparents, great grandparents, parents and now children, they tell me “because the people in Morzine, the morzinois, recognise us when we come back” and they say, “it makes us feel we belong”.
This is something precious which perhaps doesn’t exist elsewhere.
And that’s why people come here; they feel at home."
The interview is also available on video if you want to immerse yourself in the world of traditional pottery with Gérard.