Observe the history of Country Dieulefit through the prism of the potter activity , allows to grasp other important facts . Indeed, as this activity has been lasting for more than two millennia, beyond the utility of order information , aesthetic and economic related thereto , it is also the social hierarchy , religious and civil society, environment natural and geographical dialect and traditions of the territory reflected through its evocation.
Land of Dieulefit, Gallo- Roman potters of the first century than in the first half of the twentieth , there is one constant: the use of local rich kaolin clay and allowing therefore a particularly refractory utility production.
Archaeology has revealed Neolithic pottery shards, now extinct. However, a dump of Gallo-Roman pottery was unearthed between the districts of Graveyron and Grands Moulins. Pottery, now preserved and presented to the Archaeological Museum of Nyons, are varied: amphorae, jugs, cups, water bottles and two glasses walk up steps which one knows no other copy.
Medieval archaeological discoveries have they made around Notre-Dame-de-la Calle, east of the town. This is a kiln dating from the twelfth century. It was also at this time that began to be used the lead-glaze.
From the fifteenth century, the texts complement the information provided by the excavations. Thus, we know that in 1421 a tile was created on the hill of Plattes, following an agreement between the local lords and the trustees of the city. Thirty years later is the oldest mentioned dieulefitois potter known to date, Jean Peyronnel, whose studio was at the site of the current church square.
The number of potters then will grow at Dieulefit, always in the same area and then gradually southward to Chateauras neighborhoods, Baume and especially Reymonds, but also in the west, the neighborhoods and Rivales Graveyron. At the same time, we see the pottery business grow in neighboring municipalities, especially Poet-Laval, but also Souspierres and Montjoux.
It is in the nineteenth century that the activity of the pottery will be the most important from a socio-economic point of view, although it remains in the background in relation to textiles. Dieulefit was indeed an industrial town and not agricultural. Utility production was broadcast over a large area, the south of France, in a line Bordeaux-Geneva.
The twentieth century saw many changes, including the gradual arrival of pottery “artistic” Sully in 1910 with Bonnard. Etienne then come Christmas, and persons employed in the Faience Coursanges – first of which Jacques Pouchain. After the war, it gradually abandon the use of local land too expensive to extract and not necessarily helpful to the non-refractory pottery. Now found in Dieulefit thirty workshops stoneware pottery, porcelain, “raku” and still, despite everything, of glazed earthenware. The series in utility output alongside the creation of unique pieces.