Learn all about Barb Guilmet! One half of the incomparable Muddy Girls!
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?
A: I think I’ve always been an artist, at least thats what friends tell me. I loved art class as a kid, my 1st pottery class was in high school and then again my last semester of college and that is where I really fell in love with clay. It has been an on and off relationship over the years. You really need time to devote to your art and especially clay because it is so time sensitive in it’s process. I have been at Western Ave Studios and The Loading Dock Gallery since June 2008. Before that I owned a “Paint your own Pottery studio” for 5 years where people could come in and make a masterpiece with a little instruction. I’ve attended many workshops,classes and conventions in the years between graduating college (I was not an art major) and now. I feel like I might finally be at a point in my life where I can devote the time required by the medium.
Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?
A: It was around Halloween, I was in grade school and took a show box and made a kind of shadow box out of it that was a cemetery. So it was 3 dimensional. I remember it because I wanted to give it to a friend that was sick and my folks said I couldn’t.
Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?
A: Glazing and firing. We (Samantha & I) make some of our own glazes. We are really still in the early stages of learning, it can be a life long pursuit. We read a lot about glazing and have taken a very intensive workshop with a well known glaze chemists and often make our glazes, but we struggle with the ups and downs of it.
Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?
A: Everyday is different. Just working with clay itself, one day you throw it or hand build, the next day trim it, dry slowly over time, bisque fire, glaze your bisque, and glaze fire. Samantha and I together or alone like to work with music on. When we work together, we solve problems together, collaborate and have as much fun as possible! Working alone is good too, but I often miss my studio mate when she is not there.
One of the best things about having a studio at Western Ave. is there are always people in the building (other artists) and that is a huge positive, you never have to be isolated if you don’t want to be. Some people work with their doors closed, others ajar and some wide open (that’s me). You never know when someone walking by might want to buy something. There is always other artists to bounce ideas off of and ask questions. I love the community at Western Ave.
Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?
A: Make as much work as you can, take as many classes and workshops as you can, don’t be afraid to ask questions, advice or for help. Find an organization or a group formal or informal that involves your medium to belong to. We find it so helpful to talk with other potters.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the arts community?
A: How helpful and kind people are. There is always something going on.
Q: Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?
A: I would say we sell a lot of mugs and bowls, and I love making them.
Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.
Sunday morning is typically more of a family or home time than a studio time. My husband and I often go to breakfast and then to the studio.
*You can meet Barb in her Studio 228 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!