French olive jars originated from Biot, France -A small potting village in the south of France – “Jarres de Biot” are made from hand, without mold or wheel. The jars are made from grey clay from Vaugrenier and red clay from Clausonnes – a mix of the two clays achieve the perfect desired color. After the mixing of the clays, the round bottom is laid out then circled ropes of clay are stacked on top – sized to give the form of the jarre. When the form is complete the clay is smoothed inside and out by hand, then dried before the kiln and varnish. Once completed the olive jars were used to store flour, other food items and last but not least they were used to store olives – typically in brine and oils.
Glaze drips like the green and brown drips in the above picture is very desirable. This “drip” is often referred to as “mother-in-laws-tears”. These drips of color are derived from the glaze of a jar above it dripping onto the jar below during the firing process. This hand made process, the rim color and the drips are what makes them so special and highly sought after by collectors.
Biot is still making jars and the patina and forms are unique for the region. Jarriers leave their seals of production typically on the neck of the jars (or perhaps on the side or bottom), but the most unique feature to the Biot jar is the honey colored glaze at the neck of the jar as seen in the picture below.
Biot jars can stand alone with a single topiary
Or in a group with architectural elements
These jars are special to own. If you would like to have one you can visit RF Antiques in downtown Fairhope, AL where many selections can be found. Rob Fargason, the eldest son of Ann and Peter Fargason, travels extensively throughout France including Biot. He has selectively hand picked just the right jars from this area of France. RF Antiques houses the olive jars from this region where you can shop and see first hand the beauty of these jars. OR, you can travel yourself to Biot, France where jarriers are still hand making these type jars.
Biot is a very picturesque and very popular medieval village that’s actually about 2500 years old. And, is still known today as a Potters’ Village. It sits on a hilltop only 4 km from the Mediterranean beaches between Antibes and Nice.
Au revoir!! A la prochaine!!