A 2013 Espace VERRE graduate, he is currently in his 2nd and final year of his Fusion workshop mandate.
You once lived in a loft with 12 of your friends, on the road at the wheel of a minibus, and in a tent somewhere in Northern Alberta, tree planting. What does coming back to Montréal to blow glass do to such a nomadic spirit?
The past two years and nine summers spent on the road have been a real break from city and school life. After having completed my studies at Espace VERRE, I didn’t feel comfortable with the reality of entrepreneurship so I hit the road, living very comfortably by working for three months over the summers. This year, I began to feel like my life was lacking in substance, in creative projects, in manual work. I love playing with concepts and finding a crafting solution that honours the original idea.
This being said, returning to the city was somewhat of a shock. I had so many friends to see, my mom moved to a suburb of Toronto, I had to move into a new place, find and modify a bike, not to mention start up Fusion with a month to catch up–makes your blood pressure rise… it reminds me of all those congested arteries in the city [laughs]. Now that this is behind me, that I’ve found a place to live and that I am readjusting to the fast pace of metropolitan life, I feel better on days where I do my hourly yoga in the morning and avoid getting behind the wheel.
But with all those challenges comes a great reward: the love and friendship of so many extraordinary humans that I had rarely seen in the past 15 months. I can’t say that I consider Montreal my home (I need more fresh air and wilderness), but the friendships I’ve made there are undeniable.
Did your experiences out West and abroad influence your glass works?
Yes and no. It gave me lots of ideas for projects I could make by molding elements found in nature, installations using burnt wood found in brasiers lit with the leftovers from tree harvesting. I worked from a helicopter for more than 150 days: to see the world from above leaves a lasting impression! As to how that will translate into my pieces…
Also those stumps from the old-growth forests of the Pacific Coast! Humongous tree trunks left behind by the industry for various reasons (rotten at the core, too many knots, not the right essence of wood)… From discarding to creating. I am concocting a project that will salvage some of this magnificent wood while on the road with my travelling studio, and transform it into colossal furniture, a work of art incorporating glass, both functional and architectural.
One thing that people don’t usually know about you?
I have four brothers and sisters, two half-brothers, one half-sister that has two half-sisters and one half-brother.