Rooftops across Sars-Poteries stand proud of their glass-working past, present and future

A rustic calm surrounds this little gem of a living museum in Sars-Poteries; even the folks who breathe life into this historically renowned region for French glass-working are some of the friendliest people I’ve met in Europe to date. Wandering down the lane to the centre-ville, looking for a café and a place to soak up the unusual sights of glass balls perched across the rooftops of the houses, we found a local tabac more than happy to serve us – even the patrons had a welcoming “bonjour” and carefree smiles. A lady outside her home smiled in the sunshine with her “bonjour” and a teen cat skipped forth towards us for some attention. Coming across the border from Brussels, this charming place struck quite a contrast in many ways.

The musée-atelier du Verre

I first heard about this museum from Anuschka, who recommended it for its growing collection of glass pieces, contemporary exhibitions, resident artists and stages. Taking less than 2 hours to get there from Brussels, it’s a nice drive out of Belgium into France.

Musée atelier départemental du verre, Sars-Poteries

The special exhibition by Anne-Claude Jeitz and Alain Calliste includes a very interesting depiction of the diarised thoughts of a 15-year-old girl. I found myself smiling at several of these as my own memories confirmed that I was probably not alone feeling as I did as a teenage girl! The intricacy of the glass work is incredible, weaved like fine lace and frozen in time like icicles.

Anne-Claude Jeitz and Alain Calliste, a page of the Diary 2012 (body image)

Anne-Claude Jeitz and Alain Calliste, a page closeup of the Diary 2012 (body image)

Anne-Claude Jeitz and Alain Callistee, a page of the Diary 2012 (is this love)

Anne-Claude Jeitz and Alain Calliste, a page closeup of the Diary 2012 (is this love)

The collection consists of historical pieces, such as these conscripts’ canes shown here, as well as contemporary pieces from all over the world. Acquisitions expand the collection so the new museum build due circa 2015 will probably be quite a treat for the senses once it has opened.

Conscripts canes

M perusing the cabinets of historical glass pieces

There are too many names to mention in the article of those pieces acquired and/or exhibited in the museum’s collection and themed collections. I photographed the following two pieces upon entering the first room upstairs… I forgot to photo everything else after these!

Dale Chihuly, Shell, 1986

Marvin Lipofsky, Des fleurs pour la liberté, 1990

The museum has acquired many handmade glass beads too and whilst a few of these are exhibited along the corridor wall, I would have loved to see the whole collection on this visit. These could be displayed in something similar to the fantastic drawer collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford when display space becomes constrictive.

I will definitely be visiting Sars-Poteries again very soon to see the next exhibitions. Can’t wait!

Originally published: Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 17:05 in Celebrating Art, Inspiration, Living matter, Monologues

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