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Atelier In The Village Of Kamouraska in Quebec Maritime, Canada.

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RIVER-Inspired Jewelry Creation: L'Atelier du clocher

Local Maker Talks Inspiration To Create Pieces Of Visual Fusion That Paint A Picture Of His Village Of  Kamouraska In Quebec Maritime

A medallion mixing metal and wood inside Pierre Brouillette's shop Atelier In Kamouraska in Maritime Quebec. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]
Pierre Brouillette inside his shop Atelier In Kamouraska in Maritime Quebec. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]
A breakdown of fused rings available at Atelier In Kamouraska in Maritime Quebec. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]

Inspiration for art comes in many forms. In Quebec Maritime, along a Fjord many hours north of Quebec City, there is a peacefulness, especially in the summer. It retains the texture of Northern Maine with its own special spin. Alot of Rvs move up and down the road and campgrounds are plenty. 

 In the small village of Kamouraska in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, life moves a little slower. The ships along the St. Laurence traverse in the distance. The remnants of an old wharf that used to be optimized for the logging industry stand vacant. But in the town center, next to a nice coffee shop, Pierre Brouillette runs Atelier in town where he sells his handmade jewelry and pieces by local artists including those of Churchill and Cohen using intricate wire designs. Brouillette spoke with MRV: The Buzz Editor In Chief Tim Wassberg inside his shop about inspiration, just being and the smoothness that drew him to this island. 

The Buzz: Being in this village, how important is that? Did you grow up here or did you come here? 

Pierre Brouillette: I lived in Montreal 10 years ago, and I came here for a vacation and I stayed (laughing). This place is very nice and you have a lot of customers. I opened the store seven years ago and the store worked well. 

The Buzz: What was the inspiration for some of these pieces? Is it from the area or your general experience? 

PB: I was cabinet maker before that's why I like the wood. You see, with certain pieces [I make] you have a piece with the wood inside. 

The Buzz: How does cabinet-making differ, in your eyes. Is it just very small details? What do you find is the challenge? 

PB: Jewelry is nice because you work with the steel, you work with the gold, with sterling silver. It's possible for you to work with the wood and the stone. But why I prefer that is because it's very complete. And, as far as cabinet making, I like that [I've had] 40 years to do that now. So now it's 15 years [for jewelry] yeah. 

The Buzz: Is this place, creatively, used for inspiration? 

PB: For sure. I don't know. I like the place, so I live here. And I make a new model every years, so maybe 10 pieces a year. This new piece right now is a pendant with wood and sterling silver. So it mixes that. Obviously, it has more of a shine...a very glossy look.

The Buzz: Why this design? 

PB: Why? I don't know why. I don't have a reason. I just do it. I think about it, I do it, and that's it. And I sell it. I don't have a story about this piece (laughing). Because that's the thing...sometimes inspiration just hits you and you want to do that. It's about my life. I work with somebody, I like somebody, so -- I don't know. 

A view of the St. Lawrence River from the Village of Kamouraska in Maritime Quebec. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]
A comparison of his and her fusion rings at Atelier in Kamouraska in Maritime Quebec. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]
A local artist Churchill also makes his creations available through Pierre at Atelier in the Village of Kamouraska in Maritime Quebec. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]

The Buzz: So what is it about this place then? 

PB: I like this place. I like the flavor. Yeah. The water, yeah. You see longer. 

The Buzz: So more nature? Do you do outdoor stuff? I mean, do you go bike riding? PB: I have a boat. I have a sailboat. The Buzz: What's a good sailing day for you here on the St Lawrence River? 

PB: The good sailing, it's a nice day with the sun and you go on the other side to take one coffee and you come back after. So [where we are right now] is an island. But on the other side is Bay of St. Paul. It's a nice place too. The river is just large so we haven't gone out there yet. It's 17 kilometers from here. 

The Buzz: Are you guys here just basically here during the summer season months or are you here the whole time? 

PB: In winter, you have 40 people here. After summer, you have 600 people here. Plus tourists. 

The Buzz: Is there an artists movement in the village at all? 

PB: We have artists here. I have friends and I take the best. 

The Buzz: Now just to ask with that ring you're holding, can you talk a little bit about that? 

PB: Because I work with the wood...some might be afraid because the wood in the water is no good. So I try to make a ring where it's possible for you to have for a lifetime. So if the wood is no good after five years, it's possible for you to open the rings and change the wood inside. That's why. 

 The Buzz: So the wood inside lasts 5 years? 

 PB: Ten years, depending on the people. 

The Buzz: Can you speak about this village for those coming in? How do you see it? 

PB: This village. Everything is beautiful. Everything is smooth. And agreeable.


Tim Wassberg

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Film/TV Production & Film Criticism, Tim has written for magazines such as Moviemaker, Moving Pictures, Conde Nast Traveler UK and Casino Player. He enjoys traveling and distinct craft beers among other things.

Camping Riviere-Ouelle

Make Sure To Stay At:

Camping Riviere-Ouelle,  which is located in Rivière-Ouelle 10 miles West of Kamouraska is open from the beginning of May to mid-October with over 225 campsites and a selection of services including laundromat, convenience, internet and firewood.

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