Ceramic artists Justine and Jean Hay de Slades’ rustic home and studio in France’s Haute Saintonge were years in the making. First, Justine had to establish her line of bone-white porcelain that she calls Epure—the exquisitely simple wares are what first caught our eye: see Made In a Barn in France.

Success enabled Jean to join the business in 2014: he oversees production. And very recently, with their three-year-old daughter, Alma, the family bought a parcel of land with two decrepit 19th-century structures on it that enabled them to build their ideal live-work setup. “It’s a small wood house with many windows and a lot of light,” Justine tells us. “We don’t need or want a lot of space for living, but our atelier is twice the size, with limestone walls and old fireplaces.”

Not surprisingly, the color white pervades both buildings, along with a lot of handmade touches: Justine and Jean’s fingerprints are on every surface and if you look closely, you can also spot their cat’s paw prints memorialized in clay.

Photography by Jean Hay de Slade, courtesy of Epure.

The House

justine and jean redesigned what had been a bake house dating from the early 1 9
Above: Justine and Jean redesigned what had been a bake house dating from the early 19th century into a board-and-batten cottage inspired by the fisherman’s houses of Cap Ferret, where they lived 10 years ago. The structure’s only original parts are three stone walls.

Haute Saintonge is in the Charente-Maritime, on the southwest coast of France between Bordeaux and Cognac. “It’s a place where you can breath,” says Justine, who, having formerly lived and worked in the same building, felt very ready for a division of labor.

justine and jean did all of the design work—”with pencil on pape 10
Above: Justine and Jean did all of the design work—”with pencil on paper, the old-fashioned way”—and recruited Justine’s very handy father along with some local tradespeople to help with the construction work. “We wanted a cozy, ecological house, minimalist too,” says Justine.


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