les Petites & grandes histoires du Domaine de l'Ocrerie': creation, editing, illustrations ©Gilles Laburthe.
Domaine de l'Ocrerie © is nestled in Burgundy, in the village of Pourrain between Toucy and Auxerre in the Yonne department. In the heart of the land of Colette and Larousse, it's surrounded by green countryside, ponds and charming villages, including the castles of Guédelon, Saint-Fargeau and Ratilly... We're on farmland and forest, rich in clay and ochre, not far from the vineyards of Chablis, Irancy and St-Bris le Vineux...
This heritage estate is steeped in history: around 1750, the owner Monsieur Croiset exploited the quarry to extract yellow ochre, used as a pigment for oil paints. Around 1871, the beautiful factory was destroyed.
Two centuries later, the building, which served as a commons, enjoyed further success! In the 1960s, the Croiset-Parquin descendants made some alterations! The house later belonged to the couple Robert Gall, songwriters to Edith Piaf, Aznavour, Marie Laforêt, Hugues Aufray, Francis Lai... and Cécile Berthier, a descendant of the ochre growers. They are also the parents of the pretty 'poupée de cire, poupée de son' France Gall, who won Eurovision in 1965... So it's an ochre factory steeped in history, industry and music!