By Don Norman
Pierrette Sherwood is a reclaimed metal artist. She was recently commissioned to create a piece for the 2020 Créche Festival being held at the Winnipeg River Heritage Museum. “I was asked to create a nativity scene with two old, well worn and very weathered cross cut saws,” Pierrette said.
This year’s Créche Festival is unfortunately not going to be open to in person viewing at the Museum. At least not for the time being. COVID-19 restrictions require museums to remain closed during the lockdown. But the Museum is working on updating their website to create a space that art enthusiasts can browse virtually.
Pierrette said she welcomed the commission and said that making the piece was an enjoyable challenge. “It stretched me artist as an artist,” said Pierrette.
The piece is approximately 60 inches long and 30 inches high. Pierrette used a variety of reclaimed metals, including the two old cross cut saws in the piece. She integrated brass from an old cymbal, silverware that she reclaimed as well as some copper elements that, as she says, “adds a little shine and little magic to the piece.”
Pierrette was asked to describe her piece for the exhibit and provided the following text to the Museum. “Just as Jesus was born in a very humble setting, so too are the origins of this composition born of two modest and well worn antique crosscut saws from the St-George area. Reclaimed metals including silverware, a brass cymbal and copper plates were integrated to bring a sense of magic, light, upliftment and wonder to this interpretation of a most sacred, and traditional Christmas scene.”
Pierrette has been creating artwork with reclaimed metal since she was a girl growing up on a dairy farm near St. Norbert. “It’s kind of, I guess, my calling,” she said. And those rustic roots definitely were inspirational to the development of her art. “I started creating using reclaimed hardware and agricultural implements from the old farm,” she said. Those old implements represent a connection to the past, for Pierrette. “The objects carry memories, it’s kind of nostalgic,” she said. “It gives us a sense of appreciation for the past and for the pioneers. It conveys so many images for me.”
Pierrette’s piece is just one of dozens on display during this year’s Creche Festival. The virtual exhibit can be accessed through the museum’s website. The display is set up at the Museum, but as mentioned, is not open to the public. However, organizers hope that some lifting of restrictions will happen if the numbers go down. The Festival has been extended to run through to the end of February.
If you would like to see some of the other things Pierrette does, she also has a website.