Published on Mar 22, 2022

Julie Lajoie: Exploring Ceramics through the Lense of Art and Science

Before devoting her time to the art of ceramics, Julie spent 10 years studying plant biology. The result is a very personal aesthetic research and pieces with sophisticated glazes sometimes evoking an organic and vegetal world being examined under the microscope. A pleasure to the touch and for the eyes!

By Natalie Sicard

Inside her Notre-Dame-des-Bois workshop, at the foot of Mount Mégantic, is where she wedges and forms all her clay pieces and sends them to fire inside her kiln. Originally from Montréal’s South-Shore region, she met her life partner here, while visiting a friend. First having settled in Sherbrooke, two years ago the couple fell in love with this charming farmhouse dating back to 1875, and spend as much time as possible here. In fact, in the future, she plans on offering introductory classes to the art of ceramics.

Her Workshop Like a Laboratory

The glazing phase fascinates her because this is when she explores and experiments with colours and textures and discovers how they interact inside the kiln.

Having begun to work in ceramics after completing her master’s degree in plant biology, the artist sees a parallel between her botanical research and what she discovers through clay, her chosen medium. “All those hours spent inside a lab, observing the simplicity of a molecule, the complexity of an ecosystem or the physiological structure of plants, to understand them and identify them, are comparable to the hours I spend in my workshop, studying the science of glazing and the aesthetics of shapes.”

As we take a closer look at her pottery with their surprising textures, we understand her fascination with the study of soils, such as sea-worn limestone. She creates pieces with a rustic finish, combining functionality and comfort. However, her latest collection “Ciel d’hiver (Winter Sky)” presents a more classic style, highlighting simplicity and elegance.

The inside of her pottery is coated with lines of blue glaze she applies in delicate strokes, and which are reminiscent of the trajectory of shooting stars in the sky. Perhaps creating under the International Dark Sky Reserve of Mont-Mégantic (RICEMM) and living less than 2 km from the observatory, has brought about some new inspirations for her practice!

One thing is sure, when she sits at her potter’s wheel she wants “the gestural to be natural, precise and relaxed while hoping that this way of being transcends to how the pieces are later used; That when a person utilizes one of my pieces, they also find a source of comfort, beauty and joy.”

To learn more about her work, you can consult her website: www.atelieroxyde.com


Her Address Book

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