By the time you read this post, the Quebec crew will have come and gone. The month of May welcomed in a new crew of resident artists from my home province of Quebec. It had been a long time since a group this big came into the studio, and it was a much-needed breeze of fresh air and inspirations. Not only that group came in. A group of University students came in as well, a new idea to select deserving ceramic students from ACAD, Sheridan and NSCAD came from a collaboration between the Universities and Medalta.
From the top- the “TERRE” crew- Marianne Chenard, Yanik Potvin, Catherine Auriol and Gordie Ishizuka
And the University crew Adam Lefebvre, Trevor Novak and Julie Wagner ( who was a fellow student at NSCAD during my time there)
I can say the month of May passed by at a fast pace, most of the experience has been already “filed” away and I have moved on. But the people I have met once again left an impression. It is the small experiences that leave a mark. Such as the introduction of laser transfers that Marianne showed me in a 5 min demo, creating hand-built lids, firing the perfect soda kiln and general 1 month dedication of ceramics and connectivity.
Medalta was a great place in May… is it possible to have too much of a good time?
Marianne Chenard and the melting clay. She had put thin slabs of porcelain, with an image put on them, in a tub of water which was then put in a freezer. The result was an interaction of having the pieces, in essence, melt in the gallery space. Marianne was the unofficial leader of the pack from Quebec. She brought a great crew with her, and her energy and positive attitude livened up everyone.
Creating and using various methods of creating , glazing and firing processes, Gordie’s work reminded me of decay and almost “growth” of organisms and a visual record of time passage. Quite the character as well…. Gordie would always have a serious game face for ceramics, and still manage to make you laugh the next time you saw him.
Yanik Potvin. THE WILD MAN of the bunch. Literally…. Yanik used clay from the back yard of Medalta and never looked back from there. How can you slip cast so well with that reclaim?
Catherine Auriol- a professional potter and sculptor. Catherine kept herself running between throwing on the wheel and creating sculptural figures. It was great to see the clash between forms but really anyone with this much skill to do concentrate on both types of ceramics, can be described as a teacher and master.
Last but not least , the University Crew: Adam, Trevor and Julie
Adam Lefebvre work can be described as nerve-racking. I have never ever seen anyone break their pieces on purpose… When I saw Adam do this for the first time, it was something to witness. He attached the pieces again when they are fired, through adjustments and positioning of wood joints.
Trevor Novak hails from Sheridan college. Trevor’s work, ceramic work, involves creating stories within his ceramics. I found his sculptures represented questions, personal or based on imagination and fiction, that related some dark humor or dark overtone. I especially enjoyed his functional work, where he drew faces of residents , never looking down at the paper, and transferred them to pieces.
you can tell what characteristic he took from me….
And the last one on the list: Julie Wagner. A friend I met at NSCAD, Julie’s work, in its beginning stages, is going to be about massive installation. She has ideas of large sculpture areas, sculptures spreading out over an environment, but also allowing those sculptures she makes to become incorporated into that environment, almost camouflaged. Julie will no doubt become an artist to break some ideals of art and the environment, as her organic shapes join into the everyday and even the industrial.