November 11, 2009

François Bothorel, Maison des coquillages / Shell decorated house

pictures courtesy of the webmaster of the 
Plouescat heritage website (link not available anymore)

Plouescat is a seaside resort of some 3400 inhabitants along the coast of Finistère in Brittany, France.

Life and works

François Bothorel, who lives in this community,  has made something special of his house.

He has decorated its interior with shells he patiently collects on the local beaches. All walls have been decorated, but also many items that keep memories of local heritage alive.

For example, the shell decorated utensils on the picture above would be used in households to make butter: at the right there is kind of a centrifuge to separate milk and cream and at the left there is a device to transform the cream into the famous Breton butter (salted as preferred with salt from the salt cellar in between).

another exposition of utensils, a weighing machine, 
a wheel from a chariot and a ?
(it's a wheelbarrow...see comments) 

Bothorel also added shells to a number of machines that in former days were used on the farm, like the one in the next picture, a device to cut plants and other supplies to feed horses.

Update 2017

The first version of this post was published in November 2009. After that date, the internet had no new information about this site. 

picture (October 2017) by 
Tiramisu Bootfighter, Facebook

But then in October 2017 above photo was published on Facebook in the context of the project La Valise, a traveling gallery along France insolite, about which was reported on Facebook.

The picture shows Bothorel seated at a table with a table top of Saint Jacob's shells. The bench has the same decoration.

Actual situation

So it it turns out that in 2017 this art environment is still extant and it is likely that Bothorel by appointment still will welcome visitors who would like to take a look at his creations.

François Bothorel
14 lot Pont Ar Manach
29430 Plouescat, dept Finistère, region Brittany, France
can be visited on appointment


  1. looks like a pretty unique place...

  2. Hi Henk, I hope you are well ! This is really incredible, we go to that area of Brittany very often on vacation, la Grenouille's Mom lives very close to Plouescat, I've been to Plouescat many times, but never heard about this... so once again, it is wonderful that you are there to help me learn about the country I live in. I believe we will be going back to Brittany at Christmas, will have to see if I can track this down...

    Thanks Henk !!!

  3. Thanks Catherine. And hello Owen, if you happen to be there, do'nt forget to ask what that device besides the wheel is....I was thinking of you when writing this note, knowing that you spend many holidays in Britanny, but of course I had no idea that one of the family would live so close to Plouescat. Christmas in Britanny must be some experience. All the best, Henk

  4. "a wheel from a charriot and a ?" : it's a wheelbarrow (hardly recognizable I'll admit !) Great blog, I thoroughly enjoy it.

  5. @ Anonymous. Yes indeed, it is a wheelbarrow. Once you know, you can recognise it. Thanks a lot !