October 29, 2019
Quebec ceramists provide us with unique pieces of exceptional quality. Every step of the manufacturing process, from shaping the clay to glazing it, gives each piece a unique character which turns a simple object into a work of art. Due to the infinite variations induced by the artisanal making process, you can never find two identical teapots; which is what makes them so precious and sought after.
Over the years, we have developed partnerships with various Quebec ceramists who care about the quality of their products. They use no heavy metals in their high fire glazes (which are cooked at over 1200 degrees Celsius). This allows some components to melt and merge in order to create a safe glaze. Here are a few among those components that can be found amongstour ceramists: red iron, silica, wood ash, feldspar, rutile and clay.
Here’s the second in a series of portraits of Quebec ceramists.
For already seventeen years now, Marie practices and perfects her art, sometimes in France, other times in Quebec in her Pointe-St-Charles workshop where I first met her. While our paths could have crossed several times since 2015, I only recently truly discovered Marie Serreau. I had the privilege of hearing her passionately and patiently explain her work to me. I had the opportunity of visiting her studio and of, more importantly, experiencing her wonderful personality and humanity.
"I glean my inspiration from nature, from the little smiles of everyday life, from my encounters here and elsewhere, and from music and poetry. My travels to South America, Africa, Europe and Canada have nourished me with this beautiful humanity that surrounds us and that we encounter wherever we may be. "
Evidently, we can witness this sensitivity and her love of ceramics entangled in her artwork. The collection available at our tea house results from Marie`s research, begun in early summer, in preparation for her "Parcours Ceramique" exhibition. She has been the instigator and organizer of this event for three years now.
The pieces in this collection are (of course) hand-sculpted. Then, on each one of them, a unique drawing is engraved by Marie with the help of a small sculpting tool and then baked in the electric oven for the first time. After this, the glaze is applied, and the piece is finally baked a second and last time.
The intensity of the work required for such an achievement is especially felt once a completed piece is held in hand sporting a warm blend of chai or an infusion of a high-altitude oolong. This pleasure is increased when, as in this case, the cup`s walls are thin, the glaze is of quality, and the clarity of the piece's hue enables the complete enjoyment of the tea's colorful infusion.
Upon returning to the Cha Noir tea house, precious finds in hand, I wondered what had delighted me the most in this experience: the beautiful cups and teapots or this assumed and accomplished artist`s story?
December 07, 2023
This is your chance to be part of our team!
August 24, 2023
Recipe, tips, and tricks for a successful chai at home.