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
Where did you get your training, and what did it bring you?
I completed a college diploma in ceramics techniques. It is a fairly demanding program and we learn the basics of throwing, shaping and molding (in short, how to master the technique to be able to realize our ideas!). In Montreal, the three-year program is given in collaboration with the Bonsecours Ceramic Center. The premises are located in the Old Port of Montreal, in the oldest fire station in the city: the Barracks no2!
What job did you do before? And what brought you to change jobs?
Creation has always been part of my life and I have always been drawn to the arts. As a child, I wanted to blow glass and at 16, I wanted to join the jewelery program given at Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. Finally, I leaned towards a more rational choice. After my Bachelor's degree in Communications at the University of Montreal and a year working in the same field, I finally enrolled in ceramics on a whim! Ceramics offer exceptional versatility: you can make jewelry and a host of other things...
What does your workspace look like?
In ceramic, it is necessary to clean regularly to avoid collapsing under the dust. A clean and white space is to favor!
Tell us about your creative process? How do you find inspiration?
I always have my cellphone on me to photograph something inspiring or write an idea. I also like to use Pinterest to make moodboards. I am a lover of everyday arts (minor arts, primitive arts). I find in the decorative an inexhaustible source of inspiration, because in it is an intimacy connected to humanity.
Crafts designers who inspired you in particular?
Men are often spoken of, but there is a huge crowd of impressive female ceramists.
My all star is Betty Woodman: she distinguishes herself by her us of form, the use of bright colors, her patterns ... a contemporary artist with a potter's past. Woodman ceramics are real paintings. Even though she's over 80 years old, she is a real production machine.
Currently, I also love the strange, organic and colorful sculptures of Lynda Draper, an Australian ceramist. Australia is "the place to be" in ceramic right now.
I also like to follow artist Kirsten Perry on instagram (another Australian artist). She is part of the Indie ceramics movement and I love the textures of her moldings. I wish I could allow myself the same creative freedom as her.
Are there any objects that you particularly like to make?
I think that the pot in general, whether vase or cup, is always very exciting for the ceramist. It is the original container, it suggests a function, a potential, while being nothing at the same time.
How would you define your style?
I work mainly on the surface decoration. During my training, I pushed my research work around it and developed a unique way of working it. I am inspired by everything around me (a Berber carpet, a medieval ogive, stained glass, etc.) I like to make relatively simple shapes to make room for my decor. I like to keep a naïve line even though I use repetition and geometry a lot.
Are there new objects, or texture that you would like to create, experiment with?
Yes, a lot. The only problem in ceramics is the time we have! At the moment, even if it is very far from my work, I am very attracted by the geological tendency, in which the utilitarian ceramics gets closer to what one finds in the raw state, in the nature. In this vein, Erica Iman is a ceramist I love!.
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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.