Réalisations de Julie


Creative discoveries and rural wanderings along the Chéran River and in Albanais

Aug. 2023
4 min.

For a unique escape when staying along the shores of Lake Annecy, the Chéran River and Albanais figure among the best kept secrets in the area.

For a captivating rural detour, Julie’s pottery workshop (“L’Atelier de Julie“) in Héry-sur-Alby is a hidden treasure. For the full experience; enjoy a leisurely stroll through the surrounding villages and along the plateaus for a countrified escape like no other.

The hidden trails of the Savoyard foothills

For an invigorating day, we recommend that you take advantage of the cool morning air to embark on this lovely loop along the Chéran River and through Albanais’ fields, woods, and rolling hills that starts and ends in Héry-sur-Alby.

Set aside three hours to complete the 14km (324 meters vertical gain) stroll, where the only difficulty is walking along the side of the main road at the very beginning (be careful).

Albanais landscape, with Viuz-la-Chiésaz

© Gilles Piel / Albanais landscape, with Viuz-la-Chiésaz

Next, wander among the small hamlets and villages, cross over several small plateaus in the area, the highest topping out at 700 meters elevation, and then stop for a break in the village of Chainaz-les-Frasses. While a moderate trail takes you through these quiet corners of the countryside, those looking for a more athletically adventurous outing can ride their mountain bikes on circuit n°7 – La Cuséenne.

From the hilltop farmland, with dirt roads lined with oak trees, enjoy beautiful views of the Bauges Mountains and the Jura Mountain Range, and then take the time to explore Fésigny Castle, which dates back to the 14th century.

When in Chainaz-les-Frasses, stop to enjoy a tasting of Abondance cheese, a local specialty, and cool off near the water basin before heading back to Héry-sur-Alby along the leisurely hillsides. Once there, just knock the door to the pottery workshop, “L’Atelier de Julie,” and step inside.

Mountain bike outing in Albanais, on the "La Cuséenne" circuit

© Françoise Cavazzana / Mountain bike outing in Albanais, on the "La Cuséenne" circuit

Download the ViAnnecy app to save this walk on your smartphone.


local hikes and walks

Pottery and beyond: visit L'Atelier de Julie

When crossing through her workshop, open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, from 14:30 to 18:30, you will have the opportunity to meet Julie and learn all about what inspires her pottery. Although she established the workshop eighteen years ago in her grandmother’s house, nothing really foretold of Julie’s career in the arts, even if her creativity and penchant for making things left a hint.

Julie in her workshop

© L'Atelier de Julie / Julie in her workshop

Diving head first into the medieval history of the Rhone River Valley as part of her master’s degree in Art History, Julie moved to Orange, a city in Provence. Once there, in the hidden corners of a town known for its centuries-old buildings and ancient ruins, she discovered pottery and potters, learning all about their trade and their art with admiration. Pottery became her calling, and to such an extent that she stopped everything.

Julie’s university studies came to a halt and she started down a completely different educational path to earn a professional certificate in pottery. After apprenticing for two years, she returned to her native Haute-Savoie and set up shop in the family farmhouse in Héry-sur-Alby.

Julie's works

© L'Atelier de Julie / Julie's works

Colorful earthenware

Influenced by Provence and its vibrant colors, Julie specializes in glazed earthenware technique, which also happens to be the traditional pottery making technique in Savoie and Haute-Savoie.

Working with natural red clay from the southeast of France, when used for earthenware the potter is able to obtain more shades and brighter colors than with, for example, sandstone.

Sparkling decors characterize Julie’s work. She even makes her own colors by adding metal oxides such as copper for green and cobalt for blue; a subtle mixture with a touch of alchemy to obtain just the right hue. After the first firing, the pottery is glazed with a clear coat to highlight the brightness and depth of each. Firing at low temperatures (around 1000°C) preserves the energy of each tone.

Pottery on the wheel

© L'Atelier de Julie / Pottery on the wheel

From color to creation

Primarily dishware, with a few decorative pieces, Julie makes long-lasting pottery for everyday use. Her influences and favorite colors change over time, and in addition to the permanent collections, she makes unique pieces for custom orders.

Her current collections include the “Folk-Envie de bleu / Folk Blue” version with fifty-one shades of cyan and “Chaperon-Rouge / Little Red Riding Hood” pieces. The latter results from a recent revelation, red, a pigment that is hard to find in pottery. From this new discovery, Julie has created an entire theme based on the birth of her daughter. A world populated with little red riding hoods and friendly wolves meticulously engraved in the clay with a needle using Sgraffito technique. This special technique involves scraping away a thin part of the decorative surface layer (often plaster) in places to reveal the underlying clay.

“Chaperon-Rouge / Little Red Riding Hood” pieces

© L'Atelier de Julie / “Chaperon-Rouge / Little Red Riding Hood” pieces

Setting foot in the “L’Atelier de Julie” workshop means learning all about Julie’s expertise, her profession as an artisan, her incredible creativity, and her passion for sharing her skills with others.

Julie created the non-profit association “Trois Petits Bols” (Three Small Bowls), enabling her to organize potters markets that showcase her trade and lifetime passion. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn all about this ages-old form of art that dates back to prehistory and has so many fascinating stories to tell.


Will you be there?

  • Friday, August 4, in Le Grand-Bornand
  • Sunday, August 20, in Menthon-Saint-Bernard
  • Saturday, September 2, in Rumilly
  • Sunday, November 26, in Héry-sur-Alby for the creators and artists market
Three small bowls

© L'Atelier de Julie / Three small bowls

L’Atelier de Julie

Dishware and decorative pottery

1380 route de Liaudy – HERY-SUR-ALBY

Tel. +33 (0)6 15 11 37 41


L’Atelier de Julie


  • © L’Atelier de Julie

Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue

Translation: Darin Reisman