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A soul of a craftswoman awakening to preserve our heritage

Published in the local newspaper “La Concorde”, February 27th, 2008

A true hand on, Renee Nadon is a citizen of the region. She held many occupations in the last 20 years. There was even a time where she held two or three jobs at the same time. She has been an advertising representative, a delivery agent for telegrams, pizza and balloons, a photographer for weddings and properties… She is a resourceful person with a dynamic and passionate personality. Furthermore, when she undertakes a project, she invest herself completely. Her work is said to be impeccable.

What does a person with that much enthusiasm for life do when the burden of the family responsibilities weakens? She explores and searches for new skills to develop.

With her passion for antique furniture and ancestral houses, she fell in love with the technique of weaving old style chairs the moment she saw a craftsman do it.

Soon after, she decided to follow a training with a caning craftsman located in Quebec City.

Once every month, she went to the craftsman workshop for a couple of hours to learn the techniques.

During her leisure time, she developed her skill by putting into practice what she learned during each session.

Today, after years of restoration of antique pieces of furniture, she now has a new string to here bow. She gained the knowledge of all the techniques of weaving : rawhide, paper cord, sea grass, rattan and caning.

When I went to visit her, it is with pride that she showed me her different achievements of weaving.

She talked to me about the weaving techniques, that exists since de XVIII century. When you master the techniques, you have the opportunity to continue the traditions and improve them using your own creativity, explained Renee.

An endless love for our heritage

Renee not only has the love for manual labor, she bears an endless love for our heritage. She possesses a soul of a conservator and collector. Also, the thought of contributing to the preservation of our heritage assets and to continue an old style tradition so that it remains alive thrills her. She finds it essential to form new generations to strive in that niche and insured the survival of that skills. It is an important link between generations, otherwise everything will be lost, argues Renee.

There are very few caning craftsmans in Quebec, and by practicing this form of art, she has the impression to be part of something big and rare. That is why she praises her teacher and is very appreciative for the knowledge and the support that she received from him. She has lot of respect for what he does.

There is also something sacred in the accomplishment of this type of restoring and maybe that is why the ancient trade attracts people.

Wnile discussing with Renee, she told me that she loved the old and beautiful objects for the life and joy that they hold.

Now at the turning point of her life, maybe will she let herself be guided with this new fervor that she feels in her hand and soul. And from now on be a skilled craftswoman.