“J’essaie simplement de donner forme à la terre, au feu, à l’Homme et à la vie, en ce qu’ils ont de fragile et d’éternel.”

“I simply try to give shape to clay and fire, Man and life; knowing that they are fragile as well as eternal.”

 

Raymond Warren was born and raised in Montreal where he studied art at l’Ecole des Beaux Arts and later at the Universite du Quebec.

He moved to Maniwaki and became a high school art teacher, making pottery to earn extra money. Despite the practicality of functional pottery, his desire was to do figurative work.

In the 1980s he traveled to LaBorne, France – a village with a local tradition of placing ceramic figures on the rooftops of houses. These simple and charming architectural elements, made of local clay and wood-fired, inspired him to do something similar.

Raymond’s figures are hollow constructed: formed by pinching the clay into the desired shapes using only his hands. He says, “Hollowness is not just a technical description. I see the figures as containers, ready to receive anything someone wants to project into them.”

His sculptures are then wood-fired to a maturation temperature of 2300F over a period of 50 hours. Wood-fired stoneware clay has an incomparable signature. Flames and smoke contribute to the surface patina, swirling around the sculptures creating dramatic light and dark effects.

This body of work is inspired by Travellers – be they tourists or refugees, seeking connection to people and places, ultimately to find somewhere they are welcomed.

Raymond Warren portrait