MADE IN TOWN / MONTAGNE NOIRE
October 21, 2015 – February 13, 2016
Tuesday – Saturday
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
from 6:00 pm
Made in Town
58 rue du Vertbois
Made in Town interrupts the daily grind, taking a voyage south to the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, in pursuit of local savoir-faire and products, desiring (as always) to strengthen the bond between the public and producers. The exhibition Made in Town / Montagne Noire parks its suitcases first at the Castres Economic Fair.
Made in Town / Montagne Noire
Sixteen ateliers across Montagne Noire are showcasing their savoir-faire through a selection of objects that illustrate the contemporary manufacture landscape. With technique and expertise as the points of entry, Made in Town / Montagne Noire highlights the particularities that give life to production and shape the character of men.
Selected by Made in Town according to quality, authenticity, innovation and diversity, these artisans and industrialists work with hands and machines to offer a fresh face to the local economy and energize the region from which they draw inspiration and raw materials.
A Landscape of Contrasts
In the southern region of France, along the borders of Tarn, Aude and Haute-Garonne stands the massive mountain of Montagne Noire, the last bulge of the Central Massif. In this dark, verdant range, the Montagne Noire – partially included in the regional park of Haut-Languedoc – dominates the well-preserved, starkly contrasting landscapes of Cabardès to the south, Minervois to the east and Lauraguais to the west.
A mass with two sides, two faces, Montagne Noire stands against the oceanic softness of the north and the Mediterranean aridity of the south. Its highest point, Le Pic de Nore, is over 1200 meters above sea level. In one direction, the Toulousean plains seem to stretch forever; in the other, the first waves of the Mediterranean and the white-capped silhouettes of the Pyrenees may be seen. It’s an all-but-indescribable view.
The textile expertise of the Midi-Pyrenees has been renowned since the Middle Ages. The abundance of flocks and the omnipresence of water allowed for wool washing and provided hydraulic energy to drive mills, and dyeing materials such as cochineal, madder and woad were available. In a landscape unsuited to agriculture, whose rocky contrasts and poor soil offered little fertility, inhabitants naturally turned to other occupations, and wool-working made sense for the region. Initially a domestic affair, artisan textiles transitioned towards factory production by the end of the 17th century.
It was in the middle of the 19th century when Mazamet workers developed a heat process that enabled the fermentation of sheepskin so as to open its pores – thus wool could be freed without damaging the leather. For the next 150 years, until the petrol boom, nothing detracted from Mazamet’s primacy in the fellmongering sector. And while today the industrial craze has subsided, Montagne Noire still guards in its cliffs an extraordinary richness of expertise, both artisanal and industrial.
Made in Town / Montagne Noire is the first step on an exploratory voyage to sketch out an atlas of fabrication.
Castres Economic Fair
Castres-Mazamet Associative Community Stand
September 18-27, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday September 18, 2015 from 7pm
Made in Town
58 rue du Vertbois
October 21, 2015 until February 13, 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday October 21, 2015 from 6pm
Made in Town / Montagne Noire is made possible with the support of the Castres-Mazamet Associative Community.
With the participation of the following artisans and industrialists: ARTS DE FRONZE / ceramics, BAZANE / cutlery, carpentry, ATELIER DU MOUSCAILLOU / leatherwork, CAP DAL MAS / carpentry, DOMINIQUE THOMAS / ceramics, ETS. HENRI PLO / primers, dyes, FAUNE / leathergoods, LAURENT FOULCHÉ / leathergoods, luggage-making, LE FIL AMALRIC / spinning, LE PASSE-TRAME / weaving, LES ARDOISIERS / slating, LES TOILES DE LA MONTAGNE NOIRE / home linens, MISSÈGLE / knitting, garments, PAGÈS INOX / boiler-making, PARLONS PIERRE / stone-cutting, PIC DE NORE / knitting, garments.