September 05, 2017
When it comes to seeing the passion of an artist through their work, Louise Brud is a young woman that makes an exceptional example.
A ceramicist by training, Louise graduated ACAD in 2005, but worked 10 years in a 9-5 day job before landing on her craft as a full time career.
Her pieces are easy to recognize - characterized by a unique decorative spiral that is not only pleasing to the eye, but open for interpretation by the viewer.
“I create functional work,” said Louise.
“My love is to really create pieces that someone will use every day but still can admire as a piece of art. So I create everything, from bowls to mugs to cups and teapots.
Since graduating from her program, she worked a number of years in galleries gaining knowledge surrounding the back end of art.
In the end she discovered that she needed to create, not to just be someone looking at the work.
“It has been 5 years now.
“In 2014 I quit my job and said I have to be full time or it is nothing.
“As much as the income of having a job with ceramics on the side was nice - it wasn't working.
“You can't have everything.”
With this leap of faith came a weight of uncertainty, one that she navigated with the support of her family.
“I didn’t think I would be where I am now even a year ago.”
“I have doubled the places I am showing in, people are recognizing my work, they know my name. Which is really hard to grasp because I am such a private person.”
Her work is adorned by a characteristic spiral, one that perpetuates through each of her pieces.
“I think out of everything I have ever designed or looked at, the spiral spoke the most to me. I think the reason why - I always looked at things that are the properties of nature.
“I was looking at the really little things that make up nature, and the swirl just kept repeating itself for me. From the tiniest little creatures, to really the whole galaxy - it is in a swirl.”
“I thought -‘ what a connection, that this design symbol almost has to everything in life’.
“It really is a symbol of life for me. I just keep doing it. I can't get away from it really. But I think that's ok, I think I can keep doing it.”
“I had a doubt once - thinking, 'am I supposed to keep changing my design? do I keep working?’
“Maybe in the future, but right now it is still relevant to me and to my thoughts and my feelings.
“I do like to experiment with new glazes all the time, that changes up how that swirl looks.”
Louise comments that the swirl has evolved over time. With its beginnings as a more controlled form, it has now turned into something of abstract.
People see different things in it. Most commonly she hears rose or flowers, recently someone said they see music in it. Some might say that is a part of the magic of her work, that it is open for interpretation.
“It is quite interesting in some ways for even something quite simple, people are seeing different things.”
What is obvious to all pieces, however, is the love and passion that helped to create them.
Her family saw that she was miserable, and they knew she wasn’t doing what it is she loved. She had been a creator all of her life, and she needed to be creating still.
“Even before ceramics came into my life, it was always something. I was painting, creating jewelry, I was doing scrap booking and mixed media. Anything I could get my hands on I was trying out. I just had to keep busy that way.
“It is because of my family - because of their encouragement and support.
“If it wasn't for them I would still be back there, miserable. Without them how could I possibly set up a studio, get the space for it.
“It is really amazing to have.”
“Whenever I feel discouraged - "what am I doing, I shouldn't be doing this, I am not making a living, how can I keep going." They always remind me - yes you can. And I do get a lot of the time - ‘you are meant to be doing what you are doing’.
“It comes out through my work, the happiness. That I love doing what I am doing.”
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Bluerock Gallery Inc. acknowledges the land in which it is is situated on as the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.