Cobalt blue and Raku: The World of Potters Robin Badger and Robert Chartier
Although both artists work with clay, complete and influence each other, they each have their own unique style. Visiting their Bolton-Ouest workshop offers us a delightful venture into the land of textures and the effects of different materials on their art.
By Natalie Sicard
Robin loves to create objects that please the eye as much as they are a joy to use. “I’ve always loved the feel of a handmade piece with which we can prepare and serve food. It adds this quiet, happy and subtle feeling to the daily ritual.” It’s why she offers a complete range of hand-thrown crockery, that can go from the oven to the table, as well as in the dishwasher and microwave. She’s fine-tuned her models in her kitchen from the start when she produced her first unique cobalt blue series. She was looking for her own trademark when she came upon this “glazing embryo” which delighted her and even gave her “goose bumps,” and which brings to mind, among other things, the kitchens of Europe or fields of lavender. She developed her two-level vitrification formula giving her pieces their beautiful blue colouring that has made her work stand out for several years now.
She throws all her pieces herself, whereas Robert helps her with the enamel, the finishing and the firing of her pieces. Meanwhile, he has his own line of service platters, vases, bowls and bird baths. He’s an expert in the art of raku, a firing technique, originally developed in Japan, which keeps the markings of the firing process and the thermal shock along with metallic, blackened or finely crackled effects. While “always looking for and exploring new glazes and shapes” and within his approach, he finds his inspiration primarily inside nature, and never reproduces the same items. “Each piece is unique.”
To discover their work, their workshop and the online boutique, simply click here.
Their Address Book
They’re regulars on the Tour des Arts, a circuit which proposes different stops at about 40 artisans’ workshops every summer in the municipalities of Abercorn, Bolton, Brome, Dunkin, Brome-Lake, Mansonville, Sutton and West-Brome. A great opportunity to visit them!
There are some great walks to take in the Bolton region all year long. On the way to their home, Robin brings up the pretty Quilliams Brook path. Its parking area can be found on Argyll Road at its intersection with Lakeside Road (route 243) and a little further off, on the side of St-Étienne de Bolton, we can access many trails on the Appalachian Corridor. We’ll be sure to remember this!
Robin, once in a while, likes to stop by at the boutique WB Gold Apiculture, an artisan business specializing in beehive products such as, of course, honey, but also wax, pollen, jelly, propolis and bee venom for practising apitherapy. The boutique is open to the public Saturdays from 10 :00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or by appointment on other days.