• Madame Chikitou Camon Pottery
    Madame Chikitou Camon Pottery

I’ve been in this region before, and came back for many reasons, not the least of which is Mirepoix itself. The Ariège is spectacular, with this medieval, vibrant small city, in the coeur of it all. It sends me. So it was only natural I’d make up a list of where to go and what to do, which I threw out the window this morning.

Instead, I finished my morning dues at the campsite, hopped in the car, destination Camon. I knew nothing of it but for a travel tip that piqued my interest somewhere in the background of too much information.

What a tuckaway spot … only 15 minutes east of Mirepoix, it is a very quiet — and beautiful — village.

Population: 164.

No restaurants to speak of, no brasseries — a massive abbey and l’eglise that defines the space.

There are two outstanding pieces of Camon … or three …

One is roses. Walking the streets, they are primary. If there is a house, there is a rose.

Jeannine, the potter, told me every May they have their fête de rose — it must be spectacular.

Because now? In the heat of late August? They adorn and climb the walls and houses both like climbers that they are, and like weeds, in every crack.
They are everywhere.

I am quite sure the sun always shines in Camon …

Second, is the atelier I stumbled upon, Jeannine, being the artist and propriétaire.

A few of her pieces were on display at the Office of Tourism, so I inquired as to her whereabouts. ‘Just around the corner’ … not hard to find given there really are no other shops here!

And, the signs *did* give it away.

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Jeannine owns and lives upstairs in an ancient longère that’s been tipped and turned into her atelier, and home. I know, because I asked. And I asked because there was SO MUCH GOING ON in this tiny little space that was pouring out the front door.

Come to find, she had her shop in the very heart of Mirepoix for 18 years, but closed three years ago and ‘moved to the country’. That would be Camon.

I said, So you decided to retire.


I looked around and said, But you didn’t really retire did you.


(How *do* you retire your passion anyway?)

As you can see, her earth tones are deep and vibrant.

The red will be on my table, as she makes sets of dishes to order, for homes that are standardly dishwasher, microwave and other-wise-proofed for longevity.

LAST but certainly not least, she has a thing for coquelicots (poppies) and they’ve already made it home with me.

Third? The simple French beauty is intact in Camon, and worth absorbing, as part of a day trip, at your leisure, from Mirepoix …

If you’d like to inquire: [email protected] ~ www.poterie-chikitou.com