JCL is a Vancouver based product design studio that is inspired by natural materials and old world techniques. Working with artisans and manufacturers using traditional methods such as slip casting and stonework results in dynamic and inimitable pieces rooted in the past with a nod to the future.
Born in Canada, Jean-Claude LeBlanc grew up in a rural bilingual town in Saskatchewan. His Mother made art for their home using local materials such as wood, flowers, and wool. Working at his Father’s lumber mill, he gained valuable knowledge about the manufacturing process and developed a hands on approach to creating.
In the late 80’s, LeBlanc moved to the city and discovered skateboarding. Customizing and personalizing his style and gear became his obsession, shaping his vision to this day. LeBlanc’s interest in design grew as he discovered the work of fashion designers and architects, most notably, RAIC Gold Medal receiver Peter Cardew, who later became his mentor and Architect on several projects including the Lieutenant Governor Award-winning ‘LeBlanc House’.
With no formal design education, LeBlanc has started several companies ranging from residential construction to fashion design. His clothing brand Blanc & Noir compelled LeBlanc to travel extensively, visiting manufacturers in Japan and Italy to resolve details and further his knowledge on how things are made. This exposure to technology and craft focuses his work towards projects which allow him to create objects which are both raw and enduring.