Photos from top to bottom: Lynda making a portrait head from photos. Gerda, Suzanne and Janie making sculptures,vases and decorated plates

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux is the Art Studio of Jessie Mooy where you can learn all the techniques of handbuilding and sculpting with clay. We are situated in an ancient Archer’s Tower at Les Bidoux close to Riberac in the Dordogne. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, you will be guided by Jessie. She has a degree in Fine Arts from the university if Pretoria as well as a teaching diploma. She also studied sculpture and handbuilding techniques at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan university. She has has been working as an artist and teacher for more than 30 years in these fields.  Her creations  have been collected internationally  and many of her works form part of the permanent collections of various Art Museums in South Africa. If you are interested in courses please fill in the contact form on this page

The following 3 courses are available: 

Note: These are handbuiding courses where you learn to model or sculpt a variety of objects with clay according to your own personal level. These are then decorated and glazed by you and after that, bisque and glaze  fired in an electric kiln. No experience in sculpting clay is necessary. You will be taught all the basic handbuilding techniques. We speak English, Dutch and French.  Also scroll down this page to look at photos of student work and for the link to the Facebook page of Atelier La Tour des Bidoux

Summer Course 1. Modelling Clay. 

Weekly ceramics half day lessons  July 2018 on Tuesdays

Tuesday mornings from 9.30 to 12,30, starting Tuesday  10 July and then 3 successive Tuesdays

This month we will handle a wide range of work from vessels to sculpture, depending on your peronal level. Using clay and underglaze pigments you will investigate form, decoration, drawing. Through discussion and collaboration we try to arrive at new possibilities. You only need a willingness to have fun and experiment and embrace the deliberate awkwardness of finding yourself in unknown territory. All levels welcome and no experience needed.

These are ongoing classes. You can book four classes for a month. If you like these classes you can carry on the next month.You will be taught all hand building techniques in ceramic art. You will learn decorative techniques as well as glazing techniques. You will make a range of objects: bowls, platters, tiles, lanterns, sculptures, portraits according to your level. Anything you would like to make. No experience needed.  These classes are  130 Euro per month for 4 classes of 3 hours, all clay, under glaze pigments, slips, oxides glazes included as well as 2 firings for all your pieces. Book in advance as places are limited to 4 persons. For those of you who would like to carry on from July to enhance your skills there is a 10 Euro deduction of fees from 130 to 120 Euros,   4 lessons of 3 hours, all materials and firings included. To contact me, please fill in the form under workshops on this page and state which course you want to enrol in.

If you are interested to come for one Tuesday morning when it suits you it is possible. Just let me know at least a week in advance  and you can make something beautiful and useful for the home or garden. All inclusive as well as coffee/tea. These classes are 32 euros for the morning from 9.30 till 12.30

2.Full day Workshop and light lunch.

Next whole day Workshop will be announced soon

Come and get your hands dirty! This crash course in handbuilding and modelling will open up the wonderful world of ceramics for you. Experience the satisfaction of making something with your hands and enjoy a playful afternoon being creative. You will learn how to pinch, coil and work with slabs to  join clay making bigger pieces as well as applying underglaze colours to decorate your pieces. With this technique you can make ceramic bowls, Chinese lanterns, planters, all kinds of platters, bird baths and more! These you will be able to use in the home or in the garden as they will be fired to stoneware temperatures, After the class your pieces will be finished in a clear glaze and kiln fired, making it usable and food safe. Note that you will pick up your fired piece on another day.

This workshop is designed for beginners or those wishing to further develop their skills without commitment a longer term class. What you have to bring: A readiness to get your hands dirty and get the creative juices flowing. Jessie will help to realise your project that you have in mind or show you ideas for objects that can be made in an afternon

Please book in advance to secure your place as there are limited spaces available. You will be creating ceramics according to your own level. Price 45 euros for the day, light lunch included. All materials and 2 firings for each creation included. bear in mind that you have to pick up your fired work a few days later. Please fill in the form if you are interested and tell me which course interests you. I will be in contact with you asap.

Next workshop Saturday 16 June

workshops after these dates will be added later


3. For people who want a holiday in the Dordogne combined with a ceramics workshop.

You can let me know on which days you want to come.

This workshop is for beginners or more advanced students. As a beginner you will be making several works and you will use different techniques in handbuilding and modelling. You can make bowls, tiles, platters, sculptures etc . A combination of these or a bigger project that you have in mind and decorate these depending on your personal level. All tools, underglaze colours, glazes, firings etc included

The more advanced will be making sculptures or their own projects. You will be given help and advice by Jessie every step of the way.

To work and stay stay at Atelier La Tour des Bidoux costs 100 Euros per day. This includes bed, breakfast, lunch, tuition and all that is needed to make your ceramics including firings. If you need to have an evening meal, this can be arranged. If you want to come a couple of days as a family you are welcome and we can price each couple or family according to their own needs if some are not interested in the classes.  Usually students take morning classes from 9,00 to 12.30 and explore the Dordogne in the afternoon after lunch. Note that you need a car as there is no public transport.

Please fill in the form on this page and let me know on which dates you want to come and I will let you know if there is a space available at that time.

Saskia Hofman at work on her ceramic sculpture at Les Bidoux.

Saskia Hofman from Holland at work on her ceramic sculpture at Les Bidoux.

la Tour des Bidoux in the distance

Atelier la Tour des Bidoux in the distance

Marianne and Nadia in May 2014

Marianne and Nadia from the Netherlands


Sphia (5) and Mikey (7) learning to make a pinch pot 2017


Above Max Gardner (13) sculpting a mask of a lion.


Sophia 5 years old. busy making and decorating a plate from a slab. \march 2017

Elisabeth making a teapot from slabs and coils

Elisabeth from Denmark. making a teapot from slabs and coils with Mette in the background making a coil pot.

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux. France

Sophie from the UK sculpting an owl candle holder and Below her brother Adam Gardner busy with his decorative plate modelled en relief

Adam Gardner 2016















To see more student work clck here:

Mask  mask by Jessie

Sarah Montagu

Sarah with her work after the weekly  course that she followed for 1 month.


students July 2016

Hev, Louise and Joe at their day workshop



Christine Edwards

Christine with her first work Nov. 2014

Atelier La Tour des Bidoux side view
Atelier La Tour des Bidoux side view
Christine in 2017.

After 3 years Christine is making sculptures


Les Bidoux,

24600 Riberac,

Tel: +33(0)553909138

email    Please copy and email the address

Or contact Jessie Mooy incl. email,  travel directions how to get to Atelier Les Bidoux.