When I was doing my long hours of research for the students at MRU I discovered Paris textile artist Laurence Aguerre. The students we were traveling with were learning about handcraft and how it relates to traditional indigenous craftsmanship in Alberta. I loved how Laurence's work fit into this discussion, especially as her work uses old techniques in such a creative and innovative way. 

Laurence worked for many years in the fashion industry but in the administrative side. She was looking for a new career after having a family and decided to return to school and began her training at Métiers d'Arts Textiles de l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré. Her graduate piece was a garden in bloom which gained her a coveted spot at the Ateliers de Paris. Residencies are granted to artists for 2 years during which they are able to participate in world class events like the Métiers d'Arts show put on biannually at the Grand Palais by the city of Paris and are able to network and collaborate with other artists. 

Laurence at the Ateliers de Paris booth at the Grand Palais biennial exhibition or French craftsmanship with her floral mobile 

Laurence at the Ateliers de Paris booth at the Grand Palais biennial exhibition or French craftsmanship with her floral mobile 

This flower was created using a drawing technique with a sewing machine which creates stitchesin a random pattern. The thread is stiched onto a water soluble fabric which then dissolves in water leaving the shapes to be starched and molded into flowers. 

This flower was created using a drawing technique with a sewing machine which creates stitchesin a random pattern. The thread is stiched onto a water soluble fabric which then dissolves in water leaving the shapes to be starched and molded into flowers. 

Today while finishing out her residency, she collaborates as an artist with fashion brands and shops to create store displays and other customized pieces. Her delicate and imaginative florals are made with a variety of techniques including old fashioned crochet and knitting work and some freehand stitching with her machine (the only pieces not handmade) on a water soluble fabric which washes away leaving her with a hand drawn chain stitch to be starched and molded into a dreamy bloom. An important part of Laurence's practice is experimentation and she is always looking for new techniques even in old ideas like lace making and crochet.

Visiting with Laurence in her studio at the Ateliers de Paris

Visiting with Laurence in her studio at the Ateliers de Paris

We booked Laurence for a meet up at her petit atelier to learn more about her processes and inspiration. It was a really amazing morning learning about the Atelier de Paris and their commitment to artists and their practice, and such a great opportunity to get inspired by Laurence and her jardin.

Make sure you reserve your spot on our next Paris excursion to meet artists in their studios and get inspired for yourself! Travel with us on our Craftsmanship and Creation tour especially designed for ACAD and their new continuing education travel program open to the public worldwide. This tour is specially designed to provide the perfect balance of sightseeing, museums, neighbourhood exploring, shopping, and even a workshop to learn the secrets of indigo. We can't wait to show you the creative side of Paris!