Cristobal Huet has been a loyal customer of Stephane Bergeron’s Griffe Originale since he was first traded to Montreal in the summer of 2004.
I chatted recently with Stephane Bergeron of Griffe Originale about the industry and his work with Cristobal Huet and Marc-Andre Fleury. If you’d like to see our talk about Fleury then check out this post. Here we look at the Blackhawks star and his mask art.
I find Huet’s design striking – simple in concept yet complex in its execution, taking the native headdress to a new artistic level. Stephane commented on the design and how it is to work with Cristobal:
“He doesn’t like paint jobs that are too aggressive…he’s more of a logo guy…but I said to him, maybe for this one we should do something a little bit different. So he spoke with one of his friends and they talked about the Indian Chief head. I reminded him that Hackett had that concept years ago. We kept talking and had the idea that you see on the two sides – the kind of a stone with the Chicago logo on it. We saw that kind of idea on the internet and decided it could be cool and it would be different from the Hackett paint job. So we decided to do that and make some feathers that were more realistic than the Hackett Paint Job.”
As we’ve learned in our talks with other top mask artists, the relationship between athlete and artist is different every time, from those goalies who just get their equipment manager to make something happen for them, to goalies who create their own concepts to some who are just plain impossible to work with! I’m sure he’s not alone but I think Cristobal is the first we have heard who seeks approval on his designs at home as well:
“He always asks me to do a drawing first so that he sees the final design before we paint it. He’s a cool guy and most of the time he just agrees with my design, sometimes there are a few changes but it’s more for the colours. He told me that his wife has to give are agreement with the design.”
Huet likes a simple design and unlike others like Ryan Miller, there is nothing hidden behind the obvious in his paint job.
“He’s not a guy like that, though I have some goalies that like to do that. Cristobal likes a simple design, not too much details, more a generic mask with basic design. He’ll never do something like a beast of something. I even proposed some Indian characters but he doesn’t like that.”
Stephane has been working with Huet since he was traded to Montreal. He got to do the Montreal mask thanks to a mutual friend who played junior hockey with Huet and called Stephane the day after Huet was traded to Montreal suggesting they do something together. They called Cristobal and he agreed right away.
“He didn’t have an idea for Montreal, he had never been there, he just said do me a paint job for Montreal, and that’s it! He was happy with the first drawing and since then he’s been happy with my paint jobs, so he’s a good customer of mine.”
Thank you very much to Stephane for taking the time with us and sharing his great artwork. Stop by his web sit for a visit and if you have a mask that needs an NHL quality paint job, don’t hesitate to give him a call.
For more on Stephane’s work please see:
Stephane Bergeron La Griffe Originale on being a professional mask artist (coming soon).