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The Ocrerie has retained a creative spirit from its industrial past. Styles and materials come together in a beautiful, colourful harmony. The property is a treat for the senses with numerous works of art, contemporary furniture, carefully arranged spaces and rooms that are connected yet entirely different from one to the next. There is also variety of services on offer: painting workshops, cooking classes and other artistic activities. Less than two hours from Paris, in the heart of a beautiful region, it is the perfect place to escape for a change of pace and to let your talents blossom.
We left Montreuil (near Paris) to open a guest house in Burgundy, a region we know well after exploring every inch of it. During our research, we fell in love with other chateaus, monasteries and historic residences in Cluny, the Ouche valley and the Nièvre. But when we discovered this large building with its industrial past, large reception areas, ocher quarry, caretaker's house and park, we saw our dreams coming to life here. In addition, we are only an hour and forty-five from Paris. Auxerre train station is ten kilometers away and local shops are a five-minute walk away in the village.
The ocrerie dates back to 1750. The building used to constitute the outbuildings of the large ocher factory that was destroyed around 1871. These outbuildings consisted of the stable, ocher storage huts, a wine cellar, rooms for the employees, a shed and haylofts. It is a farmhouse style building around forty meters long with high ceilings, tiles, beams and limestone walls. Many historical works document the industrial past of ocher in this region of Burgundy.
In around 1750, the owner, Monsieur Croiset, exploited the quarry to extract the yellow ocher which was used for pigment in oil paintings. The workers would knead the ocher and form it into square blocks with their hands, dry it, and then funnel it into barrels. Delivered to the colour merchants, the ocher could then be sold as it was, to the dismay of the painters who would then prepare it themselves. Mixed with mortar, it colours and then hardens the plaster and fixes it more securely to the wall. Red in colour, it can be used for apartment tiles. There was a large market for the product in Paris, and to conquer it, Croiset established contacts there around 1775 with merchant-grocers and opened a shop on rue de la Poterie. His children continued his work by creating a family company, but the eldest son's involvement in the revolution and the disappearence of the youngest led to the decline of the business. In around 1960, the farm became the secondary residence of Robert Gall, a songwriter and descendant of the Croiset-Parquin, who hosted all the yéyé singers. Claude François, Julien Clerc, Michel Berger and many others have been here. The caretaker's house was also used as a recording studio by his daughter, France Gall, who won Eurovision with "Poupée de cire , Poupée de son” in 1965. We bought L'Ocrerie in 2016 and opened our guest house in May 2018.
We are artists and designed the three guest rooms ourselves. Each object has been thoughtfully placed, each piece of furniture is an antique, each bedroom is unique and all of them contain works by contemporary artists (including a giant piece of street art hanging on the gable of the suite). L'Orerie is an authentic place to relax, slow down, sleep, read, do nothing, write, meditate or draw in a "bohemian chic" atmosphere with an exhibition hall/workshop. We offer "experience-oriented" tourism with activities linked to ocher in order to highlight the heritage of the village. We conduct workshops in which you can discover the ancient technique of making your own ecological, ocher paint, as well as "self-image" workshops with a makeup course. Helping to put together our "woodstock lane", a palisade land art, is a great way to reconnect with the earth. We organise residential internships with artists, cooking classes and tastings of "Les Vins au Féminin". Last but not least, we have created the Poussière d'Ocre cultural association to organise concerts, the "Summer of Pourrain ”, readings, conferences and exhibitions throughout the year.
We arrange artistic visits to the workshops of painters, sculptors and ceramists in the area, as well as carriage rides to discover chapels painted in ocher. The Saint-Baudel chapel in the village is a marvel and the Ocrerie de Sauilly is one of the last vestiges Auxerrois' of the oceral past. Created in the second quarter of the 19th century, it remained active until 1961 and has been classed as a Historic Monument since 1999. The Toucy market and its market gardeners are a precious resource for stocking up on high quality products. '' La Côte St Jacques '', is a lovely restaurant in Joigny, it boasts two Michelin stars and serves cheerful, colourful, playful and surprisingly simple cuisine. Finally, Colette’s birthplace in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye offers a snapshot of the writer and a reflection of her unique style in the history of literature.
On the ground floor, the L'Ocrerie estate has large, open plan lounges with a surface area of over 130m² and a view of the park - they can accommodate up to sixty people. The three levels of this open space are separated by a flight of two steps and very versitile: A lounge/dining room for breakfasts and lunches by the fireplace. In fine weather, tables can be set up in the park. A living room with tables in various formations and chairs for 6 to 20 people. A small lounge in front of the bay windows with armchairs and sofas. A 150m2 exhibition hall is available in summer for screenings and conferences. Thirty school benches can be used to accommodate one hundred people. A screen is available on site. Three bedrooms are available for accommodation.
We organise ecological ocher paint manufacturing workshops as well as makeup workshops.
We are hosting a rock dedication reading by Richard Bellia, a rock photographer, on 15 May 2020.
A photography exhibition will take place from 4 April to 3 May 2020.
«Summer of Pourrain», a mini woodstock, is being organised by Poussière d'Ocredate (our association). The date in 2020 is yet to be confirmed.
From 15 to 19 June 2020, Isabelle Bonzon with lead a fresco workshop.