While in Canada for the month of August, I planned a trip to the Eastern Townships in Québec. This was naturally a delightful week of visiting longtime friends and talented artists.
I could not pass through Montréal, on my way back to Ottawa, without a stop to visit Guylaine Couture and an introduction to a fantastic book binder, Cécile Côté.
What a lovely day of touring Cécile’s independent studio. Cécile recently moved her studio in her home on the Island of Montréal. Her new studio space consist of three substantial rooms full of equipment and tools for producing her exquisite work. The congenial atmosphere is one of a dedicated artist to her outstanding craftsmanship.
As I entered her home, the aroma of freshly baked quiche was in the air. Guylaine Couture dropped by to spend time sharing ideas and recent work with me and Cécile. The three of us conversed about artists’ books and binding as we enjoyed « nous avons dégusté » a marvelous quiche, corn on the cob and a salad prepared by Cécile.
Guylaine Couture has been producing artist's book for several years. This artistic form allows her to create works in which the content and structure merge to make the message more powerful.
After years of creating drawings, gouache and collages, a short binding workshop positioned her on the trail of artist's book. The latter has become her main discipline although Guylaine continues to generate works on paper.
Guylaine is obsessed with reusing printed documents. Her work attempts to divert this abundant material too easily discarded. The artist reflects at length on the visitor's reaction to the book and develops her work so that emotions are present at first sight. For Guylaine, the "reader" must live an experience.
Cécile Côté works diligently under the imprint Relieur at Atelier de reliure Cécile Côté. As a binder Cécile includes: binding of art, accordion albums, notepads, greeting cards, and ex-libris in her production.
It's Cécile’s passion to design and manufacture unique art bindings whose execution follows the language of the words they carry. In love with typography, the artist allows words to guide her choice of materials, styles, textures, and sensations to be created. "Meaning and matter, tradition and modernity, merge into an original expression where the sight, the touch, the sense of smell and the meaning of words converge."
On her blog, Cécile shows us her craft as she gives life to a damaged bible.
After a pleasant inspiring afternoon, I was invited to rejoin them next year for a week filled with ideas and tips on artists’ books and binding. What a treat, looking forward to absorb knowledge from these wonderful women artists.