What stands today as Atelier Forma started as an after hours Montreal pottery project and sanctuary making space in a Saint Henri single-car garage. In 2012, Serbian-born Bojana Kolarevic took her first clay pottery workshop, a gift from her long-time partner and collaborator Nicolas Mory. Immediately resonating with the hands-on, feeling-focused nature of working with clay, it was love at first form. At the time working full-time as an interior designer in a corporate job, Bojana pursued several six-week pottery and ceramic courses before deciding to team up with a friend to convert a Saint Henri garage into a pottery studio. Working in the evenings with the door open, curious neighbours took notice and began stopping by to ask questions. With time, these clay-inspired casual exchanges evolved into enthusiastic requests for ceramics classes and wheel throwing workshops. Flowing with this organic unfolding and inspired by the community interest, Bojana began offering short, simple pottery demos in the evenings.
Following this thread to 2018, with the then intention to make this part-time passion project into a livelihood, Bojana found a 400 square foot retail storefront in Rosemont and signed the lease. The name, Atelier Forma,is a nod to her Serbian heritage and references the process of finding voice through the exploration of 3D forms. In these early days, Bojana taught all the classes. Over the past four years since, Atelier Forma has grown to a small team of five artist collaborators, who have worked together to offer a diverse range of ceramic classes – from more traditional ceramic wheel throwing (beginner and intermediate), hand-building and sculpture, to special interest workshops that focus on specific skill development. Throughout its process and evolution, the intention for Atelier Forma has remained to create an open, inclusive and restorative space within which folks can feel supported to connect, explore and create through clay.
Atelier Forma is excited to celebrate the grand opening of its second location – a 1600 square foot hybrid studio and cafe space in the Plateau, on Saint-Laurent just north of Mont Royal Ave. The café, named Chaga, references a medicinal mushroom found on birch trees local to the region. In collaboration with her partner Nico, who studied agriculture and forestry at McGill, Chaga joins Atelier Forma as a means of drawing a parallel between ceramics (as living organism, and vessel for life) and foraged and fermented foods. Weaving Nico’s extensive knowledge of mycology and medicinal plants with Bojana’s practice grounded in clay, Chaga offers a blend of local flavours, foraged foods (and yes – mushrooms!) served on an in-house designed range of hand-crafted Montreal pottery.
Featuring a living wall and boutique selling wildcrafted non-perishables, teas and work by our team and local artists, the vision is to create living, dynamic bridges between nature and art within an ecosystem of expanded material practices. Welcoming a larger artist team with a diverse range of skill and interest, Atelier Forma is currently developing a series of special-focus workshops which will be available exclusively though the Saint Laurent location. In addition to wheel throwing, hand-building, sculpture, family ceramics and private events.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive first notification for information on the following workshops currently in development: wild clay foraging, glaze making using naturally-sourced pigments, female form workshop and a somatic-informed clay exploration. Open studio subscription and schedule is now available on our web site.