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Palette to Palate: Artists Morgan & Carole Deschaine

Morgan Deschaine with one her glass plant stake creations.
Morgan Deschaine with one her glass plant stake creations.

In a town steeped in history and creativity, there reside two artists making waves in the local art scene. Meet mother and daughter Carole and Morgan Deschaine, each with their own distinct artistic style and approach, but with the same passion and dedication to their chosen crafts. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we delve into their inspiring stories, their artistic processes, and their contributions to our vibrant arts community.

    Carole, the artist behind Copperfish Creations, finds her muse in the interplay of wood, metal, and copper. With a penchant for upcycling, Carole uses materials donated by a woodworking company, transforming discarded remnants of wood into exquisite pieces of art. 

Each fish gets a name throughout the process. “ Horton” was completed last year for Carole’s nephew, Ryan Varney (left).
Each fish gets a name throughout the process. “ Horton” was completed last year for Carole’s nephew, Ryan Varney (left).

    “I played around in my dad’s welding shop as a child. I used the hammer and anvil, grinders, saws, and other power tools,” says Carole. “I feel like the artistic flair is part of our family. My mother is an avid sewer, my dad was a welder, and he was artistic in the way he crafted things.”

    Meanwhile, her daughter Morgan, the gifted founder of Ladybug Landing Glass, masters the realm of flameworking, also known as lampworking. Armed with a torch, oxygen concentrator, and propane, Morgan melts glass into small, whimsical creations that inspire the imagination. Her journey into glass artistry began unexpectedly at the age of 14 on a family trip. 

    “We came across this motel that was tie-dye, and my parents being my parents were like ‘let’s check it out’. The woman running it had a lampworking studio attached to the motel, and I just fell in love with everything,” said Morgan. Upon returning home she reached out to Essex Stained Glass for a lesson. “After that lesson, my mom surprised me with my first lampworking kit, and I’ve taught myself everything that I know since then, starting in my parent’s garage.”

    “She figured everything out all on her own, the only contribution I had was buying her her first glass kit, and cheering her on and supporting her in the background on the way. I’m so proud of you!” Carole tells Morgan. “You’re so cute!” replied Morgan.

    Morgan and Carole’s individual artistic processes offer insight into their distinct approaches. For Morgan, lampworking is a meditative escape. Carole, on the other hand, finds comfort in the solitude of her studio sanctuary, where creativity flows freely to the rhythm of her music. 

    “It’s stress relieving for me. My mom gets into her ‘Chi’ as she calls it; I don’t use that term, but I call it my Zen,” Morgan quips. 

    Beyond their personal pursuits, both women are deeply involved in fostering artistic growth within the community. Morgan’s previous tenure on the board of the Gibson Gallery exemplifies her commitment to nurturing local talent, while Carole’s multifaceted roles as VP and board member reflect her dedication to advancing the arts in Amherstburg. 

    “I enjoy being part of the gallery. I think it’s a gem in Amherstburg, and I feel like there’s a lot we do for the community, and a lot more that we can do in the future,” says Carole

    “I would love to rejoin the board of directors when I have more free time,” says Morgan. “When I was on the board I was very passionate about growing their Artisan Shop to give artists more opportunity to showcase their work.”

    Asked if art has enough representation in town, Morgan thinks there’s still much left to be desired. “That’s a growing area in Amherstburg that I think is amazing, but I would love to see more,” she says. “I see a trajectory in the town, especially with the second annual Art Crawl coming, and the support that has been generated by businesses in town to help promote it and help ensure its growth and sustainability,” says Carole. “I’m happy that the Gibson Gallery is participating in it again this year, and hopefully will continue to do so in the future. I feel like initiatives like this will grow the culture of art in the town.“ 

Carole and Morgan hosting a friends and family paint night.
Carole and Morgan hosting a friends and family paint night.

    Despite their successes, Carole and Morgan also acknowledge the challenges women face in the art world, from gender disparities to the undervaluation of female artists. Yet, they remain undeterred, finding fulfillment in the act of creation and the joy of connecting with audiences. 

    Making art in a small town comes with its own set of challenges. “Just being able to get my work out there to be seen and known, it’s challenging in a small town,” says Morgan  “I have been building my social media following for years, and I’ve had several viral videos which have amassed millions of views, but locally I’m not very well known.”

    “Pricing art is very difficult because it’s hard for people to see value in it, and it’s hard for an artist, knowing how much time and effort you put into it that you’re actually going to get paid for the hard work you’ve done,” says Carole. 

    Their advice for aspiring women artists resonates with wisdom borne of experience. Morgan urges emerging talents to find their specialty and embrace self-promotion, while Carole emphasizes the importance of perseverance and authenticity in the face of adversity. 

  “Take the time to explore everything about your form of art, and find whatever it is that you’re good at and run with it,” suggests Morgan. “I used to want lots of variety to show and sell, but it wasn’t until I found my niche, which is plant stakes, that I ended up thriving,” she continues. “And put yourself out there! People are very critical of their own art, but we’re too hard on ourselves. If you think someone isn’t going to like your work or is going to judge it, I guarantee there’s ten other people that are going to love it.“ 

Morgan's creations make excellent gifts
Morgan's creations make excellent gifts

    Morgan’s work is out there for all to see @ladybuglandingglass on Instagram and TikTok, with her online shop on Etsy. Carole can be found on Instagram @copperfishcreations where she can be contacted directly for inquiries about her work, and be sure to check out her upcoming exhibit at the Gibson Gallery with artist Cheryl Borkowski - A Medley of Mediums, from June 25th to July 14th. 

Featuring local Artists Morgan and Carole Deschaine

Special to the RTT by Matthew Zaidan

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