Strength and Spontaneity
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).