The Port-au-Persil Pottery's history begins over forty years ago, by Pierre and Evelyne Legault's 1974 acquisition of the Belley's farm in Port-au-Persil.  The couple had met many years before that and had nurtured the dream of putting down roots in a bucolic village.  At the time, Pierre graduated from the reputed "École du meuble" (wellknown arts and crafts school) where he learned the basics of the ceramist profession.  However, he concentrated his work in construction to ensure his family's subsistence.  In North Hatley, he met Shimaoka, a ceramist who was later considered a national treasure in Japan.  This meeting not only brought back Pierre's true passion, ceramics, but elevated him as a glaze specialist.  His arrival in Charlevoix furthered his glaze researches by incorporating elements from nature, such as minerals and plants he found in the bay of Port-au-Persil.  His charlevoix glazes made his fame.

Already in 1965, he had established his reputation by creating the "Compagnie Pierre Legault Inc.", which later became SIAL, the top company in Quebec  for clays and ceramics' equipment.  With his brother, Pierre manufactured his famous foot-propelled pottery wheel, then called "Tour Legault" and distributed in all the Quebec schools and is still being used today at the Port-au-Persil Pottery.  In 1983, at the young age of 54, Pierre Legault died quite suddenly. The Legault family pursued his legacy.

In 1992, the actual owner, Montreal-native Hélène Garon,  made Charlevoix her homestead and continues this tradition. Graduated in political science, she will be influenced by her worl-travelling grand-parents who also collected fine arts and art-trade objects.  Upon returning from a trip to Japan in 1956, that brought back very fine pottery items.  Hélène was immediatly enchanted abd touched by their beauty.  This shared link with Japan  by her grand-parents and the founder of the Port-au-Persil Pottery, became a pivotal point for Hélène.  Her education and strong desire to do politics in other ways, will instigate her to invest in the safeguard of this architectual heritage as well as the development of this cultural jewel which has become one of the oldest ceramic institutions in Quebec.

However, the Port-au-Persil Pottery's real soul is it's school-workshop.  Pierre Legault tutored many famed ceramists who still work their art today and expose them in the boutique-gallery.  Today, not only does the workshop produce it's own crockery but is open to all. They greet, every summer, a local and tourist clientele, looking to create their own pieces of ceramic art.  Since 2009, Bertrand Dion, with his live spirit and contagious energy, ensures the supervision and animation of the workshop.  Along with professional ceramists and a good deal of humor, Bertrand entertains the "students" with his natural story-telling talents, his manual dexterity and of course, his passion for Charlevoix.  For those who put their hands to the clay either on the kicking wheel or hand-modeling, will surely live an experience to remember and take away happy memories of their visit at the Port-au-Persil Pottery.

 

 

Pierre Legault (1929-1983),
potter and founder of Poterie de Port-au-Persil.