Questionnaire : Monique Bujold-Brown

Welcome back! Thank you for joining us for our next artist questionnaire where you can get to know your artists… from a safe distance.

Today we have Monique Bujold-Brown!

I have no formal training in ceramics. I did not attend college or university for
this.
However, in 1992 my husband and I and our 2 years old son participated in the
Teacher Exchange Program, this brought us to Australia for that year. This is
where I started doing pottery (besides having a brush with it in high school).
There was an active potters club in our Australian outback town. Every
Wednesday I placed my baby in daycare and I spent the whole day doing
pottery with the clubs` members. They were very generous with their advices
and teachings. That was a very formative year. I was hooked!!
We returned to Australia in 1998 and in 2009, in two different locations. By
then, we had another son, which is besides the point…! During those two years,
I also worked as an RN, but each time I also joined local potters group in order
to satisfy my passion by taking advantage of the offered facilities and teachings.
Pottery is very active in Australia!
By the year 2000, I started acquiring my own pottery equipment here in my
home in Northern New Brunswick. With time I deepened my knowledge of
ceramics by attending workshops and reading and surfing the internet. I also
participated in a few exhibits. These workshops and exhibits are the perfect
place to expand my network of artist friends and my knowledge.
I attended a wonderful exhibit in Belgium in 2017. I returned to Europe in 2018
to take part in a salt firing workshop. Last November, as stated above, I went to
China!
Here, I want to emphasize how much the ‘New Brunswick Craft Council-Métiers
d’art Nouveau Brunswick’ is being an inestimable support group.

What’s the first thing you have to drink in the morning to get your day
started?
First thing I drink in the morning is a tall glass of water with my vitamins
followed by a strong dark coffee. An excellent kick start!

What art movement or artist has influenced your personal style?
Can you show reference to that in any particular piece or use of your
medium?

Raku firing is my favorite form of ceramic. My first brush with it was with
Peter Thomas from Gagetown, NB in 2004. I then took two workshops
with Raku Master and author Steven Branfman from Needham Mass. I am
also interested in wood firing but I`m not set up at home for this however I
may have a wood kiln constructed in the future. I attended a wood firing
workshop in China last November and the organizer, German lecturer Lou Smedts,
offered to organize a kiln building workshop at my home in Charlo
NB. I have yet to take him on the offer. I would need to apply for grants
and such.


What about your medium captivated you to pursue it as an art form?

It’s captivating how a simple piece of clay can be transformed into an
object of my expression. Time spent manipulating clay flies by. These are
moments of pure bliss. I was hooked from the moment I was introduced to
it in my high school art class. That teacher, Réginals Arseneault is now a
well respected New Brunswick wood sculpturer.

What’s the most recent show or exhibition you’ve participated in?

Beneath the Surface 2019 with the New Brunswick Craft Council- Métiers
d’art Nouveau Brunswick.

Where in the world would you like to visit? Would this reflect in your art?
Or do you need a break from your own style?

I would love to visit Japan. It’s the country of chawans (tea bowls) and big
monstrous wood kilns.

Is there something particularly complicated about your medium that most
people aren’t aware of?

People don’t realize the amount of time it takes to make a piece. There is
a lot a manipulating, of going back and forth to a piece. Also, it takes a lot
of practice to master the potter`s wheel.

Is there something particularly complicated about your medium that some
artists aren’t aware of?

Developing one`s own style.

Where do you envision your artwork ending up? A city loft?
Corporate boardroom? Wistful cottage?

I made a large piece for the Beneath the Surface and I would love to see it
hanging in a corporate boardroom.


Picture of my ‘Fundy Ghosts’

I imagine my functional pieces becoming a person`s favorite mug or bowl.
I fancy imagining my more artful pieces, like the ones sold in your gallery,
being displayed prominently in your customers’ homes.

What are you working on right now?

I`m presently working on another production for Handworks Gallery. I also
have something in mind for the exhibit coming up to celebrate the 150th of the
Dalhousie, NB, lighthouse.
I also do productive pieces like cups and bowl that I sell at the East Wind
Boutique in Dalhousie NB. These are not raku fired, simply fired in my electric
kiln. I’ll work on this after I finish my pieces for Handworks.

Do you have a vice that you indulge in to reward or motivate
yourself?

Good quality dark Chocolate and a glass of good Chardonnay!

Do you listen to music when you work (if yes, who and what type) or
do you need silence?

I love the blues and jazz. However, there a times silence is best especially
when creative concentration is called for. I also love classical music broadcasted
on Radio Canada on Saturday and Sunday morning.

How many galleries represent your work?

– Handworks Gallery,
-Restigouche Gallery in Campbellton
-Eastwind Boutique in Dalhousie.
-Honey House in Charlo

Have you worked with another local artist who you find vibes well
with your flow. Has this resulted in any partner art projects?

Dalhousie photographer, Scott MacNeil, is letting me use one of his
photograph of the Dalhousie lighthouse for the project I have in mind for
the lighthouse`s 150th.

Is there a local artist who you would like to work with on a project?

First person that came to mind is Peter Powning.. but that`s really
dreaming BIG!! I like that he started as a potter and that he projected himself
into other artforms.
It would also be wonderful to work with Judy Blake.

Has being an artist thrown you any curve balls that you genuinely did
not see coming?

I started doing pottery as a hobby when not being a mother, wife and a nurse. I
really did not expect to be living a genuine life of an artist! I did not see myself
as an artist at all. But slowly, the feedback proved otherwise!
I did not see the 2015 invitation to the Halifax Gallery Act coming at all!! Neither
did I see the invitation to place my pieces at the Handworks Gallery!! I was to
thank you for this!

What makes you laugh more than it should?

Sweet moments with my husband, silliness with my five sisters and cats
nonchalance!

Pets? Tell us about them.

Our boys are now adults, but when they were growing up we acquired two
cats and a dog. Those were the best years! They were members of the family.
They are dearly missed. We had the cats for 14 years and our sweet little dog
Abby for 18 years. Now we are retired from our professions (nurse and
school teacher) and we travel around too much to put a pet through our
‘vagabondage’.

What’s your perfect way to “reset” your mind?

Walk away from the studio. Have a meal or a nap or go for a walk. Wait
a day.

What’s your most productive season?

Summer may be my LEAST productive time. It`s time to go outside
and take advantage of our short season!

If you weren’t an artist, what career path could you see yourself
pursuing?
I retired from nursing three years ago so that I could pursue life as a
potter. I might still be working if it wasn’t for my artist career taking off!

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