Pottering around Virebent pottery, Puy l'Eveque
The factory found a base here in the south west corner of France in 1924, although the Virebent family had been known as architects and ceramists in Toulouse since the 18th century.
Today the Virebent factory buildings (map) are looking down-at-heel, while a hand full of staff work on pieces of pottery and the occasional visitor strolls around the shop and exhibition room.
In the exhibition room you can learn more about how the factory moved from making ceramic items for the electronics industry, to move towards making stoneware, earthenware and porcelain.
The room features one of the large kilns used to fire the pottery, today it is home to a collection of wooden benches and a short video, in French, about the history of Virebent.
Crammed in to the room are a variety of items from large statues to delicate porcelain plates with hand painted designs, although it is all a bit higgledy piggledy with explanatory cardboard panels typed out and now faded.
Across the small roadway between the factory buildings is the shop, and this is an all together different proposition with bright lights and displays of recent collections.
At the far end of the shop is an 'outlet' section offering up strange porcelain skulls which can be used as candle sticks, but also fine white porcelain cups with strikingly angular handles.
But before your visit comes to an end take a look at the artwork on the outside walls of the shop, and the buildings either side.
Pastel coloured scenes of garden chairs and 1930s style shop fronts have been painted on the walls, pointing back to maybe more affluent times for Virebent and its porcelaine du Lot.
The Virebent factory is open all year round Monday to Saturday from 10am until noon and 2pm until 7pm, and open Sunday from May 15 to October 15.