ST. PIERRE-JOLYS, MB | Sol Desharnais, a contemporary, multi-disciplinary Canadian artist, fashion designer, interior designer, and theatre set designer, created Sol Designs in 2012. Five years later, his beautiful, practical work is starting to attract a lot of attention.
Sol, after spending twelve years in France, returned to Manitoba to open a studio in downtown St. Pierre-Jolys in 2012, and hasn’t looked back since. He has created limited edition, gorgeously touchable handbags made from unusual juxtapositions of wood, fur and leather, and he has also created the brilliant fold-a-bol, a soft, snap-together felt bowl that is safe to use on any delicate surface because it won’t leave scratches. The long-lasting felt in Sol’s fold-a-bols is eco-friendly, made from a blend of corn and sustainable wood, or sustainable wool.
Sol’s fold-a-bols are perfect for holding keys or jewelry, or other small desk accessories like paperclips or sticky-note pads, or even pens. Because these felt bowls, available in two different sizes and several different colours in ShopAGA, can be unsnapped and packed flat, they are also excellent for traveling.
Sol also has a unique perspective on the materials he uses in his products. Influenced by his travels, he has a lot of respect for the materials he uses. Most of the raw material found in Sol’s designs are recycled, and using natural products such as leather, felt, wood, and metals that already have a story before Sol shapes them into new and beautiful objects, is a powerful experience for this Canadian artist. He brings an element of re-invention and play to all his work when he takes these materials and challenges us to think about using them in new ways.
Sol’s designs often have a strong, structured, architectural element to them, and circles, which are a sacred shape to Sol, are a favourite, re-occurring theme. Circles are “multiple and endless,” Sol says, allowing for many different interpretations, both in considering the physical roundness of a circle, and also through contemplating abstract and more spiritual ideas of “inclusivity,” “wholeness,” “unity,” and “family,” that circles can represent. Circles, Sol believes, “draw you in to become part of the experience too.”
Colour is also important to Sol’s work, because colours, either solid, saturated hues all by themselves, or several colours layered together, tell their own stories. When you pick up a Sol Designs fold-a-bol, or one of Sol’s beautiful, original handbags or purses, you can ask yourself “what is my true colour?” and you can choose a bol, or an exquisite leather and wooden handbag, that matches your own personal, unique style.