The Rustic Aesthetic of Simplicity
Creative artist Chantal Poirier founded .OUT outils et accessoires in April 2015.
Her inspiration: to pass objects to the future generations. Her motivation: to offer useful items that improve the workplace and make you feel beautiful..
Chantal was kind enough to respond to an interview with us. I'll let you discover it here!
What region are you from?
I am from Beauce in Quebec, a village called Saint-Zacharie. My parents raised us, my brothers and I, in a beautiful natural environment where we learned about group living, the value of work, the satisfaction of reaping what we sow. I consider myself very privileged to have grown up in this environment, to have learned so many useful things.
I left at the end of my 16 years, I needed to see something else and I went to live in Matane, in the Lower St. Lawrence region. Since then, this is where I have buried my roots more and more, it is also my daughter's birthplace.
How did you come to work with textiles and leather? Would you like to tell us your story, your journey?
I have always been drawn to the visual arts and manual craftsmanship. I got into this from a young adult age. In my practice, textiles have always been a material of choice because I find the fabrics important in all spheres of our life. Imagine a life without textiles (laughs)! The invention of weaving, felting, knitting revolutionized humanity. It is a noble and rich material. It is malleable and the bearer of history and life.
The study of fiber at the Centre Design et Impression Textile de Montréal was a wonderful journey. There, I learned the basics of dyeing, screen printing and various textile embellishments and modifications. I thought about my future, I learned that we could really make a living from our work as a craftsman and that's where I started my first collection of utilitarian objects, work pouches, in 2014 Leather has imposed itself. If you are looking for a resistant and natural material, leather is ideal. I worked hard to learn how to work it. It’s not an easy subject!
When the company started, I was a studio roommate with a fashion designer who uses leather. With her, I learned a lot about the material, about the machines, about how to design patterns and how to run a workshop. A few years later, I developed a relationship of trust with a master leatherworker who taught me a lot and who sold me (I could almost say bequeathed) his equipment and skills. How lucky I was. I can never be thankful enough.
A few words about your work environment… Your workshop in Gaspésie…
In 2017, I made the decision to return to my adopted region, the Gaspesia peninsula. It was a good time, the company was a little over 2 years old, was strong enough that I could afford to be further from the metropolis.
I already had my house / general store waiting for me on the banks of the River, in St-Ulric. I bought it when I was 22, I kept it even when I lived in Montreal because I knew I would do something with it. I was very happy to come back. Little by little, my workshop is being refined, I am constantly improving the premises. There's no denying it, it's happiness here!
How would you define your style? How did he impose itself?
My style… Good question! It happened on its own!
I like the real thing: I like simple objects and in their place. Without fluffing. I love colors that will never go out of fashion because they are timeless. I like what ages well.
I would say something like "the rustic aesthetic of simplicity." A good friend called my job that, I thought she was right. Does it work, as a style?
Where does your inspiration come from, what do you draw inspiration from?
The people, the craftspeople. I find people who work with their hands so beautiful. I wanted to pay tribute to them. And selfishly, I wanted to get closer to them. I love the energy of work, the wisdom of the hands. I want to be of service to the people I admire.
What are your favorite materials, and how do you choose them?
I like leather, especially vegetable tanned. This is the one I use most of the time. Because it's so much healthier, for our health and that of the planet. And, because it is of high quality. It takes the wear and tear as it becomes more and more beautiful.
Are there any other items you would like to experiment with making?
I am currently working on a collection for the home. Always a utilitarian object, but not necessarily to be carried around.
I continue with curiosity and avidity to work on work objects for specific trades. I always move forward, at my own pace, and objects appear with the seasons and needs.