Born in the Saguenay, trained in British Columbia and living with her family in Bromont since 2004, Rachel Grenon, ceramist, has in the past few months made Knowlton the home for her inspiration.
This is a gift of the gods in her busy life. “This is the right place. Here, I feel like it’s my space’’ says Grenon. “For the first time in 25 years, I have a workspace outside my home’’ as she welcomes Tempo at the Art Lab her new ‘dreamspace’ at 341 Knowlton Road.
As you enter her workshop, some porcelain pieces showcase her artisan work and speak of an artist that is free and sure of herself. Daring design for tableware? Why not.
On the shelves, there is no set of dishes and very few pieces made on the potter’s wheel. You will rather find unique pieces, instinctive and well-crafted from large plates of rolled and thinned clay that she also shapes and paints according to her inspiration. What you get are large dishes, bowls and plates in irregular shapes, meant to be imperfect. They are art pieces also meant to be user-friendly and as she explains “they are intended for large gatherings between friends where each dinner guest is free to choose his or her own place setting, in his or her own image. Isn’t that cool? “The larger plates are really my favourite pieces because for me they represent the pleasure of sharing’’ she says with enthusiasm.
This non-conventional approach to table setting has already made Grenon famous in Canada and internationally. This summer, B.C.’s McLoughlin Garden Society is hosting her for five weeks of residence by the sea shore to allow her to complete her latest project ‘Water Effect.’ “The works! Especially for me, who adores being close to water.’’
Whether it be the sea shore or the little shack where she used to seek refuge close to her family’s cottage, ‘my first home of creation’ which is now the Art Lab 341, and everywhere Grenon has decided to settle down to work her art has to feed her creative streak. And one has to admit that in a short time Knowlton has already met that challenge.
By Françoise Stanton (English Translation: Francine Bastien)