In January we mentioned we had a few new blog series planned for 2017 and today it continues. With Canada celebrating 150 years this year, we are planning to do our part here on the blog by celebrating Canadian design, featuring Canadian artists, designers and architects all year long. Today we're thrilled to feature the work of Genevieve Dionne, a Vancouver-based artist who is making amazing things with ceramics. We asked her a few questions recently about her work. Check out the interview below.
We're big fans, how would you describe your work/aesthetic?
I strive for an aesthetic that is handcrafted, understated and quietly refined; a delicate combination of order and playfulness.
Where did you train or study and how did your practice form?
I studied fine art at The Alberta College of Art and Design and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I had taken a handful of ceramic classes but my main focus was on drawing and printmaking.
I started taking pottery classes at the west end community centre when I moved to Vancouver and that very quickly became my main creative outlet…I spent the next 10 years making work on the side as a member at different pottery studios.
Last year I moved to my own studio in a Co-Op and also had a career change that has allowed me more time to focus on my art. It’s been a slow process and I feel like my practice is still taking shape!
What Canadian designers/architect/artist do you admire?
I’ve always loved the work of Shary Boyle and Kelly Mark, but I’m also very inspired by my peers, and in particular other women working in Vancouver such as Heather Dahl, Jessica Bell, Rebecca Chaperone and Sara Gee Miller; these very genuine and dedicated people have become my role models.
How do you create best (e.g. do you listen to music while you create and if so what?)
I alternate between listening to music when I need to focus and listening to podcasts when I’m doing something repetitive. My playlists are usually a mix of 80’s - 2000’s indie rock/pop. For podcasts my recent favourites include Reply All, 99% invisible, Hidden Brain, and Surprisingly awesome.
We'd love to see a picture of your studio/office/workshop where all the magic happens - if do you care to share a photo?
It’s about 100 square feet and narrow- a bit tricky to capture it all in a photo. Aside from my own space, there’s a room with 3 kilns shared between the Co-Op members.
What are your favourite tools
A favourite of mine is a little needle tipped squeeze bottle “ Fineline applicator”- it’s perfect for squeezing underglaze into fine lines of drawings or text.
The other tool I love is the vinyl plotter- I often make vinyl stencils for masking off patterns on the clay surface.
We love seeing people's inspiration boards or something similar.
I keep inspiration images in plastic sleeved booklets since wall space limited in my studio.
What are you working on currently that excites you?
The most exciting thing for me right now is the tiled slab pieces…For a long time I’ve wanted to evolve my work into a place where it’s non-functional and larger scale. The tiled slabs are unlimited in size and have so many options for surface design; exploring those variations is really engaging.
What is new happening for you - anything you'd like us to report?
I recently started selling a line of red stoneware vessels at Hinterland…I’m also looking forward to collaborating with Hinterland on a new product that combines ceramics and wood.
This spring I’ll have some porcelain vessels on view as part of a window display at the Babaton store in Toronto Eaton Centre.
Thank you Genevieve!
Follow Genevieve Dionne online: