One Kwe

Not up on your Ojibwe? Neither am I 🙂

One Kwe, or One Woman, is the name of Kathryn Corbiere’s metal shop in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island.

One Woman…

It resonates, doesn’t it? One woman against the world, brave, and strong, and … well, you get the idea.

It’s a great name, both aesthetically pleasing and accurate, in that Kathryn is a one woman show. She runs her own business, creating and selling modern furniture and art.

One of Kathryn’s art pieces, created in consultation with Pride Manitoulin’s youth group, now hangs in the Objibwe Cultural Foundation. A modern take on the traditional dream catcher, and incorporating LGBT symbolism in its triangular shape and the pride colours worked into the hanging metal feathers, the piece includes three Objibwe words worked into its base—

Respect Love Courage

Like many of us, Kathryn ended up on this particular path because the one she originally started out on turned into a dead end. Unable to find work as a welder, she took her training, and her artistic talent, and tried something else.

Kathryn’s secret to success, “You have to be willing to try.”

Oh, you mean, get off the couch and turn off Netflix?

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Chickenshit.

I’m confrontation averse mostly because I’m not very good at it. Assertive isn’t really part of my DNA.

I tell myself that I’m cursed with the nice gene, but nah, I’m just chickenshit. Words have been falling out of my face for years, but when I need to step up and speak up — silence.

Recently, I escaped the rain by ducking into a small art shop. One of the pieces was all light, bright colour and I pulled out my VISA card. The painting came off the wall, the shop owner set it aside as he looked for wrapping — the piece looked totally different leaning against a desk than it had under the track lighting on the wall. The colours that had been clear and sunny were now muddy and dark.

green painting (2)

Did I say anything? Did I speak up? I think we all know the answer to that.

I now own a painting that could be pretty, but isn’t because I’d have to repaint and rewire to do it justice and, yeah, not happening.

On the other hand, I made the shop owner pretty damn happy 🙂

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