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Seasonal Traveling Abroad: Ways You Can Bring Your Trip Home With You

If you know anything about Emilia Ceramics, you know we love to travel. Each one of our artists is selected because of their unique contribution to the timeless craft of pottery. From Italy to Mexico, including a number of countries in between, we have a passion for bringing custom-made, one of a kind ceramics from remote communities across the globe, into your home.

Skeleton Serving Tray, Gorky Gonzalez (Guanajuato, Mexico)

In my continuous search for pieces I think people will cherish, I find myself learning a lot about other cultures. Before I set off for a new location, I do a lot of planning. Researching international destinations and then experiencing these amazing towns and cities in person, has enabled me to learn a lot about local customs, the people who live in different parts of the world, and the values that influence their lives (and their artwork).

While I go on buying trips at all different times of the year, many people travel internationally around the holidays. If that’s the case for you and you’ve recently returned home from an awe-inspiring holiday trip, this post is for you. Here’s my advice on how to hold on to some of that old world culture you discovered, when you’re back at home.

Local Language

No matter what corner of the world you visit, chances are, you’ll be exposed to a beautiful new language. I find the local language of any country I visit to be such an important part of the total experience, (regardless of whether or not I can understand everything my new friends share with me.) So much so that in addition to the few key words and phrases I learn before my trip, I’m sometimes motivated to continue my learning when I arrive home.

Duolingo is a great app to use in practicing a little before you go, or once you come back. One of the simplest ways I’ve found to quickly return to the memory of a country I’ve loved is to spend a few minutes speaking the native language.

Local Food/Drink

Due to restrictions on the flight home, bringing your favorite local cuisine home with you could pose some challenges. Although there are ways you can pack and ship, or stow, bottled beverages and packaged foods that you just can’t depart without, it is probably more feasible to try to recreate the recipes at home. Here’s a sampling of some shortcuts to making international delights in your own kitchen. Of course there are any number of great cookbooks out there that focus on International cuisine, many of which come with inspiring photos and stories about the local chefs that created the recipes. This is a great excuse to host a dinner party and share the memories of your trip with friends or family.

Local Artwork

Visiting Sylvie Duriez (Pertuis, France)

This is a recommendation I have for everyone who takes a trip beyond the U.S. borders. Procuring a piece of art from a foreign country doesn’t have to be expensive – you can spend any amount that matches your budget. While gallery visits are wonderful, the artwork found there is typically among the pricier of options. Though in many countries I’ve visited, I’ve been to outdoor markets that feature local artists selling paintings, photographs or hand-made goods. Here’s just one list from Frommer’s. I’ve even framed some of the city maps that you get free when you check into a hotel. The really special ones are those that I’ve worn out while exploring the city and that have pen marks where locals have recommended restaurants, markets, or museums to visit.

Of course, the photos you take are often the best mementos from a trip. Blowing up a few of your favorites and framing them is a great way to cherish the memories of a great adventure.

Obviously, I’ve always loved to collect local ceramic artistry, originally for myself and now because I love to share it with my customers! But in any country you visit, you can find artwork that comes in a format that matches your style.

Where are you going next? Perusing the Emilia Ceramics collection might inspire your next destination of choice.

(If you’re a fellow international traveler, please repost a link to this blog with your thoughts on how you bring a little bit home with you from the countries you visit. I’d love to hear your ideas!)

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The Beautiful Gift of Artful Ceramics – A Look at Sylvie Duriez

I am realizing as I get older, the value of quality over quantity, the importance of beauty in a space and how having a sense of humor brings it all together. The French ceramics artisan, Sylvie Duriez, seems to artfully combine these recent epiphanies in the form of beautifully hand-painted ceramics.


Sylvie’s painting technique is whimsical, free-flowing and so artistically crafted, you wonder how she can possibly have enough time in the day to create enough beautiful pieces to share. She does the entire process herself, starting with the selection of clay and throwing each piece on the wheel.

At the first introduction of Sylvies work, I was instantly captivated. Her subjects speak to everyday Provincial life through floral bouquets, free-roaming animals, and reclining French woman. You can’t help but want to jump inside a piece to soak up the countryside along with her.

sylvie duriez

I love her subtle color choice and how the subjects have such a look of content on their faces. Simply following Sylvie’s brush strokes through the process of creativity, brings a sense of peacefulness. There is so much more to a piece crafted by Sylvie – sure, it’s created as a bowl, vase or plate, but each piece is like a magnificent watercolor painting, completely unique and telling its own individual story.

sylvie duriez collage

The gift of artful ceramics, such as the one-of-a-kind pieces by Sylvie, is something every home deserves. Especially yours!

What is your favorite Sylvie Duriez piece?

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Sylvie Duriez

I first met Sylvie Duriez at a pottery market in Marseille in the spring of 2007. She is a true artist, with little interest in sales or the hassles involved in exporting her work. Over the course of a few years and multiple visits to her studio, I’ve gotten to know Sylvie and discovered strategies to get her beautiful artwork back home for the Emilia Ceramics collection. If you ask my Sylvie-loving customers, however, I never seem to buy enough of Sylvie’s work… It always sells out so quickly! Sylvie’s painting technique is totally different from traditional Majolica. Instead of following specific and traditional designs, Sylvie paints freely, continuously changing her subjects and evolving her style. Her themes, from beautifully-painted floral bouquets to reclining French women, conjure up romantic images of fashionable Parisians and slow drives through the countryside of Provence. The subjects are not historic or monumental, but speak to the everyday and often fleeting moments to which we can all relate. Sylvie learned the ceramic craft from her mother, who is now retired but lives close by. She does the entire process herself, starting with the selection of clay and throwing each piece on the wheel. After a piece has been thrown and fired, Sylvie dips it in a base glaze. Once dry, she uses a sharp needle to sketch her drawing on the piece. She insists that she does not create a plan on paper first, nor does she copy a picture… she literally just goes to work with a needle, carving a very fine line through the base glaze. Then she uses mineral-based glazes to paint the piece in a soft, watercolor-like style. The finished product has a rustic, yet sophisticated and fluid affect. Each piece is like a magnificent watercolor painting, completely unique and telling its own individual story. I am always amazed by how much personality Sylvie is able to put into each one-of-a-kind piece.

View Sylvie Duriez’s Work
See Other Artists