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Taizé: Ceramics, music, gardening and community

Taizé is a small community located in France but it is quite international. There is a brotherhood of different religions who live from their ceramics, music and books. Music is an important part of the community, people mostly sing during the untraditional ceremonies. I had the honour to shot the cover of their CD, a wonderful unique viola cared by the wonderful violist from the Nederlandse Orchestra Odile Torenbeek.

While staying there for a few days, I experienced how it is to live there. The brothers wake up by sunrise and attend the animals and other early chores. After that there is a ceremony, followed up by breakfast. Then everybody does their chores in the community, either ceramics, working as volunteer on the garden where many edible herbs are grown as well as flowers, etc.

Here is a video about a day in Taizé:

I felt so inspired to follow the work of the brothers at the ceramic workshop! It is a whole process and the results are beautiful, unique pieces that keep the community alive. They prepare their own clay from the ground nearby and set it in "clay sausages".

and it's eventually brought to where the shape is given by hand and with the use of other tools.

Brother Sebastian at work.

Adding texture to the pieces.

Every brother has a different task in the process, some prepare the form and others paint it.

Other brothers care for the pieces in and out the oven.

Part of the beauty of ceramics is its vulnerability.

but the pieces that make it to the store are treasures to be taken home!

And every material gets recycled in Taizé!

After all the different tasks, from ceramic to organising, to gardening, there is a second ceremony with sining and sunshine coming through the glass. Don't you think it is amazing that they build their own church by hand?

These are their little banks and song books.

In a couple of days I experienced it as a special community with kind, creative, good hearted people who welcome everybody and not only who share a religious belief.

Taizé is specially bright in summer where hundreds of people of different ages (but many, many young ones) stay over to learn about themselves and activities in the garden, there are art exhibits, theater, readings, and simply get closer by nature.

Thank you for reading!


Images shot in 2020



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