Les Impatients: Le bijou narratif, une histoire inventée

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As part of the City of Montreal’s program La pratique artistique amateur : vers une citoyenneté culturelle dans les quartiers, the École de joaillerie de Montréal was able to welcome eight young adults from the art therapy workshops Les Impatients for two ten-week sessions. Under the theme of narrative jewellery, this project was carried out within the ÉJM’s workshops, allowing for an introduction to traditional and contemporary jewellery techniques, including lost wax, soldering, resin, and the integration of alternative materials. The creative process was initiated by a story invented by each participant, inviting them to express themselves on their personal journey. Jewellers Magali Thibault-Gobeil, Gabrielle Desmarais and Aurélie Guillaume led this fabulous workshop with great sensitivity.

We would like to thank the organization Les Impatients and the facilitators Mélissa Correia and Maude Robinson.

We would also like to thank Marie-Eve Courchesne, Commissioner of Culture of the City of Montreal.

Instructors Aurélie Guillaume and Gabrielle Desmarais with their spring 2019 group. Photo: Martin Gros
Instructors Gabrielle Desmarais and Magali Thibault Gobeil with their fall 2019 group. Photo: Anthony McLean

These ” Narrative Jewellery ” workshops with Les Impatients have brought together two of my greatest passions: expression jewellery and human encounters. Magali, Aurélie and I were lucky enough to have two exceptional groups. The works created during these weekly workshops reflect the commitment and inspiration of these wonderful Impatients.

They were extremely hardworking, faced many technical challenges and knew how to name, accept and make the most of their own personal abilities.

I am sincerely grateful for this incredible opportunity to teach them and to have been able to be at the forefront of their learning and their impressive journey.

Gabrielle Desmarais


We hereby invite you to discover the creative path followed by each participant throughout the workshop, and to enjoy the virtual exhibition Le bijou narratif, une histoire inventée, which brings together the works produced during these two educational workshops on art jewellery.



Drawings and prototypes for Celina’s ring.




From your eyes was born the Atlantic Ocean, your treasures are untraceable.

Celina wearing her ring Tortue. Photo: Martin Gros


Sabrina at work
Chasing and repoussé for Sabrina’s pendant
Sabrina’s seashells after polishing

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Sabrina showing her open pendant. Photo: M. Gros

A mermaid gets wed: a shell gets offered as a way to communicate with her beloved father.

Sabrina with her pendant Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Photo: M. Gros



Les cœurs d’or series: Sandra wearing her ring and adjusting cufflinks on a sleeve. photo: A. McLean

Les cœurs d’or

When everything has been falling apart for too long, you have to look deep within yourself for the strength to fight and rise again and again. This struggle requires unwavering tenacity, continual perseverance and optimism. But nothing can replace the soothing and comforting feeling of being supported and understood by those you love. I thank all the people with hearts of gold who make an invaluable difference in my life.


Les cœurs d’or series: Sandra wearing her ring. Photo: A. McLean


Cage pendant: Sandra at the bench with her inspirtation board.
Cage pendant: Experimentation with resin and prototype for Sandra’s pendant.
Cage pendant. Photo: M. Gros
Cage pendant: Sandra wearing her piece. Photo: M. Gros


Ailes pendant: Charles’ experimentation with resin and colour.
Ailes pendant: Charles applies coloured resin to his silver piece.
Ailes pendant: Charles showing one of the faces of his reversible pendant. Photo: M. Gros



Inspiration words: dream, hat, hope, light, survival, key, lion, chains, fire, writing

Ailes pendant: Charles wearing his piece. Photo: M. Gros


L’oiseau de bonheur pendant. Photo: A. McLean


L’oiseau de bonheur

Since ancient times, oracles have sought to see destiny in the flight of birds. Have things changed that much? Today we still look up to these marvellously feathered beasts that herald good weather.

L’oiseau de bonheur pendant: Charles showing his piece. Photo: A. McLean

Marie-Frances sketches and prototypes.
Materials used by Marie France in order to imprint textures onto a silver sheet.
Marie-France sawing the textured silver sheet.
Marie-France showing her hand cut silver sheet, which will later become a bracelet. Photo: M. Gros
La main avec laquelle j’agis sur le monde

Flows onto my skin
Printed on it
Penetrates my flesh
And oozes in a thousand ways
Language in its infinite movement

Marie-France presenting her finished bracelet. Photo: A. McLean


Ndoumbé wearing her rings Les pivoines ont enfanté dans le lac. Photo: A. McLean

Les pivoines ont enfanté dans le lac

With my eyes closed, I let myself be carried away by this delicate, sweet, sometimes lemony, sometimes floral fragrance. On the shores of Lake Retba, I saw them. They were hiding. Their cheeks had turned red, their eyes as well. Their tears had salted the pink lake and the blue sea. Each petal was a beautiful lady with purple and velvety skin. Ashamed of having loved too quickly too soon, they were looking at that round belly, locking themselves in their bodies awaiting release.

Ndoumbé wearing her piendant Les pivoines ont enfanté dans le lac. Photo: A. McLean


Noah presenting works for the series (Re)commence. Photo: A. McLean



2017: My chest goes under the scalpel. A gifted surgeon creates a beautiful torso. I can now breathe without compression, roll out my shoulders and finally recognize my own reflection.

2018: Fierce pain is compromising my hand function and mobility. Art has always been my way of connecting with the world, and I don’t know how to pursue it in this state. My mental health is backflipping.

2019: The École de joaillerie de Montréal invites Les Impatients to take a few courses. What a privilege! I go there, and try to sculpt nipples to remind me of the post-mastectomy euphoria of 2017. I want to clear my mind and start creating again with my new physical skills. The wearable nipples you see here were born of that.



Philippe presenting his inspirtation and research board. Photo: S. Blackburn


Le monde aquatique d’Indiago

It is dark and cold in the depths of the Arctic Ocean; so dark that one forgets what they see. The sea environment glows in a dark blue light. In the ocean, Indiago, a fearless adventurer, and Eva, his very powerful octopus harnessed to the hyper-luminous seat, are crisscrossing the sea in search of adventure.

Words: transparency, comfort, protection, colour, animal, compartments, depths

Philippe wearing his bracelet Le monde aquatique d’Indiago. Photo: S. Blackburn




Visit the online exhibition here!



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