Florist, horticulturist and now ceramist, Isabelle Simard creates utilitarian objects where the emphasis is on color and shapes. Her strong and spontaneous gesture is a representation of the present moment as did the automatists.
She kindly answred our questions.
What region are you from?
I grew up in Laterrière, Saguenay, in Quebec.
How did you come to ceramics? Do you want to tell us your story, your journey?
I started studying visual arts in Chicoutimi but after a year I moved to Montreal to continue my training. Then, with a friend, we created our jewelery company which had the goal of recycling leather and fur. After 7 years, I left the business community to go back to floristry and horticulture. What I still do for 5 years.
Ceramics came when I had the urge to create objects, so I took a private class with a ceramist and there was a click. She told me about the ceramics program at Bonsecours. At the same time, I was planning a trip to India, so I said to myself: I register and I will decide during my trip. Now with my diploma in hand, here I am florist, horticulturist and ceramist.
Some words about your work environment...
I am presently at the transit workshop with graduates of the Ceramic DEC from the Bonsecours Ceramic Center. There is a lot of light and I feel well surrounded because I studied with them for 3 years. These are people with whom I am very close.
How would you define your style? How did it impose itself?
I would say that I am fond of organic forms and handmade spirit. As for colour, I work my pieces like little paintings. My style prevailed when I decided to work in an intuitive way, without rule..
Net Weight - Jean-Michel Basquiat - 1981
Are there designers who inspired you in particular? And why?
Most of my inspirations come from painters, illustrators and I love graffiti. The energy of the present moment is the watchword during creation and I love abstraction. To name a few, there are Basquiat, Cy Twombly and Pascale Girardin..
And how does the inspiration come to you?
I am very intuitive in my way of working. I work directly in clay with simple forms that I then specify. Very often, it is when I am surrounded by my colors that a concept takes shape.
Do you want to tell us the story of your pieces? Why choose to make a collection on black earth and one on white, and what are the peculiarities of each?
I find that the effect of my motives does not react in the same way on the two clays and I like the contrast and the opposition that it creates between them. Also, black clay is used for shaping pieces, which gives a handmade spirit. While I use porcelain in hand throwing for objects of daily use (cup, bowl, teapot, salad bowl).
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Born in Montreal of a photographer father and a visual artist mother, ceramist Cybèle Beaudoin Pilon lives and works in her hometown, where she is inspired by the narrative potential of everyday objects. Her work focuses on the functional art object (but not always). She kindly answred our questions.
"To think that the objects we make are a source of everyday micro-happiness reconciles me with the creation of objects in a world already so full of things."
-- Cybèle B. Pilon