Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kitchen Decorations??

I usually write about pretty villages, historical monuments and food and wine on Our House in Provence. This morning I want to show you some of the "decorations" in our kitchen at our house in Sablet. Now if you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I love food and like to cook and entertain so it won't come as any surprise that the kitchen is my favorite place in the house.

Although we rent our house by the week to visitors when we are not there, we have furnished and decorated our house as if we lived there full time. We love everything from Provence so we have lots of pottery and artwork from local artists throughout the house and we add to our collection everytime we are there.

I love santons, the hand-made clay figurines that depict the colorful people, traditional trades, activities and costumes of Provence. Shirley is not so enamored with them as me but she is a good sport and we have some pretty santons on display in the kitchen. Now I know that santons are normally put out at Christmas as part of a traditional Provençal crèche (nativity scene) but ours are on display all year long.

A close up of some of our santons.

A maker of santons is called a santonnier and the creation of santons is essentially a family craft, handed down from parents to children. Santons are fashioned in two halves, pressed together, and fused. When the figure is completely dry, it is given a gelatin bath to harden the figure further and to provide a surface for painting. Faces are painted first, then hair, clothing and accessories such as hats and baskets are applied with an adhesive.

Shirley has taken a liking to pintade guinea hens and we have added a small flock to our collection of santons. Handmade in Provence of clay by Heidi Caillard, these guinea hens have round bodies and tiny heads and come in a variety of colors.

A close up of more of our santons.

We also have one painted parrot made of wood perched on top of a utility closet in the kitchen. I know nothing about how this parrot was made or where. It came into our possession by way of a dumpster diving friend by the name of Allison. Allison is one of our servers at Bistro Des Copains and while she was visiting Sablet a while back, she found this parrot in a dumpster and thought it would be the perfect "decoration" for our kitchen.

Like I said, we keep adding decorations and more santons, pintades and other pretty hand-made items from Provence will find their way into our house. I doubt that we will ever have a flock of parrots.

Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt. Have a great day, chat soon!


  1. Ohh! It's so lovely and I adore the little santons. It looks very Provencal so you did an excellent job!

  2. The bird looks like a balsa wood bird from South America. Is it very lightweight? I used to have a few like that. The wood is very light.

    My parents have two large santons in their home in Colorado, gifts from my in-laws, who also have some. We only have small ones though for Christmas.

  3. I love your kitchen! The alcove for the spices is a nice touch :)

  4. As a renter of the Sablet house and others, I felt the warm of a good friend when I walked into this one. Maybe it was the santons and guinea hens that did it. I love them.

  5. Ashley - Thanks for the sweet comments!

    Megan - Definitely light weight. I think Santons are too pretty to just bring out at Christmas time.

    Sara - In my mind, we bought the house, the minute we walked into the kitchen. I love that kitchen.

    Kathryn - Thanks for the sweet comments. I am glad you like the kitchen.