Trenton Odette and Larissa Cain are creative, entrepreneurial artists who make unique, custom Michigan-themed pieces of artwork using ceramic, wire and stone. You may have seen them and their work at the Flint Handmade Valentine’s Day Mini-Market event at the Flint Farmers’ Market Atrium last month. “We use a unique glazing technique,” says Trenton. “It’s a process which involves adding recycled glass.”
Larissa shares in the passion for this artistic method. “Essentially, the glass melts down inside the pottery piece and when it hardens it gives it a veiny-crackly effect,” she explains. “It is exciting to see the results. You never know how it will turn out.”
When their work is displayed, it is purposefully lit. “The pieces are illuminated and enhanced with the right lighting,” says Trenton. The appealing name of their company, Luminist, stems from the initials in their names as well as the letters “mi” which resonate its Pure Michigan-themed products.
“Luminism is a painting technique that involves the use of light,” says Larissa. “Artists such as Thomas Kinkade used a luministic-effect in their paintings. We use it in our pottery.” The pair, who met and excelled in their pottery class at Clio High School more than a decade ago, left Michigan only to reunite later and recently launch their business, Luminist, which was well-received by patrons at the Flint Farmers’ Market this past summer.
Luminist also landed wholesale orders for The Local Grocer and has been seen at Small Business Saturday, Clio Art in the Park, and has been commissioned to create personalized, one-of-a-kind pieces of art for wedding parties, corporate events and individuals. Many of their creations are featured on their website and people have been known to contact the duo to collaborate and design a distinctive product. For example, the owners of the Big Boy restaurant in Clio commissioned Trenton to do a glass-etching of the Big Boy trademark on their front window.
Formerly, Larissa worked in costuming at Disney World in Florida and Trenton went to Rhode Island to enjoy the ocean; however, the friends later returned to their home state to merge their artistic talents and bring to life inventive products from a variety of materials and methods. “We offer something for everyone,” says Larissa.
Together, they produce handmade pieces using expertise in pottery, ceramics, polymer clay, beading, wiring, etched glass, stenciling and wood-burning. Larissa has been teaching eager learners the art of creating woven bowls from rope and yarn in the free craft lab at Flint Handmade. “We work well together,” says Trenton. “We’ve known each other for so long, and we each have certain strengths which we utilize in all the details of our designs.”
Trenton and Larissa are also contributing a quilt block, along with 30 other local artists, which will highlight 250 English paper hexies for a quilt raffle to benefit the rebuilding of Whaley’s Historic House Museum in Flint. The Clio Center for the Arts is where the pair spends most of their time volunteering and improving the facility which offers art, pottery, drawing, painting, quilting, sewing, colored pencil and digital photography classes and workshops. In addition, there’s a gallery for artists to display their work to the public. For more information about Luminist, visit theluminist.wix.com/luminist.
Photography by Mike Naddeo