Did you know that pottery and pastry making are creative soul-mates? I hadn’t either until I ventured into the wonderfully cluttered Left Bank atelier of French ceramicist Claire de Lavallée. Surrounded by wall-to-wall cupboards, cutting boards and rolling pins galore, de Lavallée has the baker thing going on big time. But instead of turning out batches of rustic tarts or bulbous baguettes, her industrial ovens are filled with glistening handmade vases, plates, cups and bowls in the most gorgeous shapes and shades imaginable.“I would wake up in the middle of the night and take out my rolling pin and cutting board and instead of making pastries, I found myself creating objects,” says de Lavallée who worked as a baker at a tea salon before making a full-time move to ceramics in 1989. When you think about it, she couldn’t have had better training—both jobs are about transforming simple natural ingredients into something nourishing for the senses via massive amounts of heat.