I bought my first piece of Alsatian pottery at a small hardware store on a back street in Paris several decades ago. At the time, I had no idea where that rustic earthenware casserole had been made. But I couldn’t resist its yellow-beige color, decorated with a few blue flowers and green leaves, hand-painted in a simple folk-art style. Somehow that small covered casserole seemed to evoke the essence of the French countryside and a way of life long past.
Today my collection of Alsatian ceramics has grown to the point that I have no more cabinet or shelf space left for displaying any more pottery. My kitchen, dining room, china cabinets, and even the mantle over my fireplace are filled with pitchers, pots, vases, casseroles, cake molds and cheese molds, some of them large enough to hold the ingredients for feeding a big family seated around the Sunday dinner table. And—except for that first pot I bought in Paris—most of the other pieces were purchased directly from the potters who made them.