About your Tour Guide: Jane Annois of Zeste French Tours
Jane has been passionate about all things French since she can remember. She is a fluent French speaker and has a vast knowledge of France, its history and artistic and cultural background. She enjoys taking visitors to discover hidden treasures in rural France – the places and the people.
Jane Annois has been participating in French Potters markets every year since 1997. As a French teacher and ceramic artist she began combining these two lifetime interests to form an ongoing rapport with French ceramic artists and the French countryside. Jane has also taught ceramics at TAFE, primary and secondary schools, as artist in residence and in specialist workshops. She has been a demonstrator and guest speaker at numerous conferences in Australia and overseas, a highlight being the Australian representative at an international symposium in Amiens in France in 2001. She has exhibited her ceramic art internationally, notably in Paris in 2000, assisted by an Australia Council grant. In 2009 Jane was the international guest artist at the biannual Dieulefit potters’ market and exhibition and again in 2013 with a team of Australian artists. In 2015 Jane collaborated with fellow French ceramic artists to celebrate their cultural exchange with an exhibition at Atelier d'Art de France at the Viaduc des Arts, in Paris, with an exhibition "Terres Australes".
The contacts she has made over this time allow her to share with her fellow travellers a rare insight to French culture, and the ceramic world.
Jane has organised a series of exhibitions, workshops, talks with the French ceramic artists in Melbourne February 2007 [“Tour Ceramique de France”], a reciprocal Australian ceramic exhibition in France in 2008 and assisted with an exhibition “From France” at Narek Gallery in Tanja in 2009; the joint French Australian exhibition “Melting Pot” at Manningham Gallery in February 2010 and further Franco-Australian exhibitions in 2013, 2015 and 2019.
She is the founder of the Pottery Expos in Australia, based on the pottery markets of France, which have been held at Warrandyte for the past 22 years and at Federation Square in Melbourne’s city centre and other venues.
Jane has recently been made a member of the International Academy of Ceramics [Geneva] as a cultural ambassador for ceramics.
Since the tours have begun, Jane has extended the interest focus to include art, painting and sculpture, with a tour devoted to hands on painting and art activities in the South of France. There is a very popular wine tour through the Beaujolais, Bourgogne and Alsace; music tours featuring the internationally celebrated Jazz at Vienne and a gourmet tour of the Loire Valley with its chateaux accompanied by our French chef.
The French tour has a maximum of 8 people. You will travel in a minibus driven by Jane, allowing for flexibility where the group can make day to day choices. Travelling as a group of friends rather than a tour group, we go where other tour groups can't. We find intimate local restaurants, enjoy personal visits to artists' studios, explore local markets and festivals.
Jane speaks French fluently, smoothing the way, and gaining introductions to places otherwise unknown.
An important aspect of the tour as with any trip to France is the food. You will go to restaurants only frequented by the locals, are treated to culinary delights by French potters and discover local wines.
Jane has now taken over 50 tours where people have enjoyed the French hospitality and experienced spectacular landscapes. Many have returned for a third and even fourth tour.
Tours are now open for 2023 and beyond.
Contact Jane on 0422942216