Driftwood takes its essence from the environment in which it’s found, besides in the imagination of those that see it, while in their hearts as well.
For nearly 10 years I’ve been inspired by the ecstatic driftwood shapes, their odour and by the natural characteristic they hold. These attributes have guided me in the creation of more than 500 different numbered and signed timeless decoration pieces of driftwood.
During the last few years I have “drifted on the wave” of giving back this sensation to others. This has guided me towards the collaboration with Canadian wildlife Federation, Nature conservancy Canada as well as local volunteer organizations. I’ve been invited by the palliative care residence of Vaudreuil-Soulanges to show my art in the exhibition called “Art for Life”. The generosity of the volunteers of this organization and the goodness they provide, has been a real “Coup de Coeur” for me. This has impregnated me with the desire to put my driftwood art to the service of bigger things than myself, meaning “Life” itself.
This is the reason why I offer you the opportunity of purchasing a creation of Trésors de Vie, not only will you purchase a unique decoration piece but you will also be donating 20% to an organization of your choice. All pieces are displayed at Meat and More (133 Main St, 300 ft of the ferry)
I’m a firm believer that together we can make great things happen for the greater good of the human being.
Born in the Gaspé Peninsula at Percé, I have always been fascinated by Nature’s powerhouse, the mighty Sea, as she storms, rages, destroys and carves out cliffs and driftwood at the whim of her tides. When unleashed, the sea is frightening yet the seafloor teems with living creatures, each one more astonishing than the other. As I cast my eyes upon a calm sea, breathe in its salty air while being rocked by the waves, a sense of bliss comes over me.
My fascination for manually converting an object into something else has been with me all my life: from an early age, I spent many a time making clothes for my dolls out of my mother’s old skirts; as a teenager, I couldn’t resist altering my own clothes to transform them into originals. Today, I am impassioned by the art of breathing new life into wood washed up by sea, of casting light on its hidden side, the one crying out, I’m still alive!!
Having spent 20 years working for a booming ceramics operation, I had the pleasure of working with and for people with hearts of gold. I got to work virtually in all departments, from Customer Service to Operations Manager of 8 branches. That’s when I was able to develop my “street smart” side by pushing my limits even further, thanks to being coached by a team of individuals for whom passion is second nature.
One day I decided it was time for me to follow my innermost aspirations. So back to school it was to learn how to start up a business having recycling as its mission. For me, materials such as wood, leather, metal and glass are to be revered as noble materials that deserve to be reused. Off I go, back to my hometown of Percé in the Gaspé Peninsula. First stop, the beach at Coin Banc where I spotted a piece of wood that looked strangely like a Mammoth – even my father himself was impressed…Wow! I headed back to Montreal loaded with a crate of assorted wood all peculiar in shape and outline. A strange feeling dwells within me even though I haven’t the faintest idea what I will do with it all, except I know that I want the material to be used again.
As events fall into line so does this adventure continue. While out walking, along my way: there are items out for recycling that would match so
me of my first creations -- an encounter with a gentleman -- a fine retired gentleman and member of La forge Thérèse de Blainville – it was in that very workshop no longer in existence that he and I racked our brains on how to integrate these items into my pieces as long as the wood could still speak for itself: it was magic! We really enjoyed working with one another. And now, maritime driftwood and its transformation have become my life. The items I pick up at second-hand shops are often a source of inspiration for my creations, but first and foremost, I let the driftwood inspire me to create a work that is unique, alive, perpetual and timeless!
The work required is labour intensive; the wood needs to be thoroughly cleaned, in some cases this is quite a meticulous task. The next step is sandblasting the wood then followed by sanding it by hand, this step being the most laborious: some require 20 hours or more of manual sanding all over and inside every little nook and cranny. During its assembly, it begins to take on its new identity, a multi-step process at times: paper, glass or metal and perhaps all three are used. The waxing step is the most fun for me, as I see my works begin to blossom, morphing into their new identity. The wax brings out the various tones of the wood, such a beautiful sight, as if I turned on a light! Certain types of wood may require more than two coats of wax, which serves to nourish the wood and prevent it from drying out as it ages. Finally, it’s time to polish the piece until it gleams. Each one of my works is then signed and numbered, just as a work of art should rightfully be.
I collaborate with a team consisting of people who enjoy what they do, be it working in metal, wiring my lamps, handling/adapting photographs, transcribing written matter, and developing my website. “Trésors de vie” brings together a team of individuals who are as passionate as they are fascinating – a true pleasure.
Five years have gone by since I started up: in 2013, almost 400 pieces were sold and 430 creations produced. I also take on articles of wood people bring in to have the value of their personal treasures enhanced. These are the people with childhood souvenirs or travel memories they want preserved because first and foremost, they represent memories of happy times!
“Trésors de vie” embodies the freedom to create where there are no rules, except the one to allow life to express itself through my creations of the sea’s driftwood castaways!
- Sylvie Simoneau ('Vy)
TDV Driftwood Enhancement Artist
Passionate about Life & Art
The Team Behind Trésors de Vie
Graphic Design by www.michelehenen.com
Zut Design - Linda
Recycled rubber accessory design - Kiosk design by www.zutdesign.com
Metal base design and welding
Joe Carrier, 514-898-0863
Kim & Sylvie
Proofing & Translation
Paulette Béland - Patrick Franc
Website design and development by www.sitewell.com
Patrick & Brent