We had the good fortune of connecting with Madeleine Boucher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madeleine, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
We live in the small community of Elizabeth Borough, roughly 30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, PA. One of our missions in this endeavor is provide access to art across all ages, skill level and ability. We are frequently active in the small community we reside in, one of our most recent projects was painting the sets for the local theater company in our town. Other examples include helping local Girl Scout troops earn art badges and showcasing local art and vendors across the Pittsburgh region. We are the only art studio and gallery in Elizabeth, and quite possibly the 15 mile radius around us.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work consists of functional pottery that is fired in a kiln that’s only fuel source is wood. It is an extremely labor intensive process, but it produces surfaces that are inimitable in any other kiln. Besides the labor side of wood firing, it also requires extensive knowledge of materials. I would not be where I am today without the knowledge of those before me and those who have included me in their career. Overcoming the challenges of being a studio potter was not necessarily easy or hard, it was just something I knew I had to do and follow in my life. I truly believe making pottery is my calling in life. I create art for myself, not exactly to be sold, but it brings me joy to share my work with others. Through this I learned self-motivation and perseverance. I think it is extremely important to be able to drive yourself towards your goals. A room full of people can believe in you and tell you what they think you should do, but success does not start with anyone but yourself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My best friends live in my city! Or they were from here, moved away, and know better spots than me! But if I had to choose, I would probably visit every neighborhood in Pittsburgh for something different. Pittsburgh is a relatively small city that acts like a big town. There are 20+ different neighborhoods to explore that all offer something different. I think it’s important to visit all sections of Pittsburgh because they all behave in their own ways. We would head to Grandview Park in Mt Washington to take in gorgeous, all encompassing views of the city. We’d walk over the overlook and take the famous Monongahela Incline down to Station Square. Here you can walk across the 10th street bridge, one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic bridges, and head to other legendary bridges in Pittsburgh, namely the big 3: Clemente, Warhol, and Carson. Pittsburgh has some of the most green spaces and beautiful city parks in the country. We would have to take an urban hike though Frick Park. For dinner, we would hit up Spak Brothers, and have their famous Seitan Pittsburgh Cheesesteak, which includes fried egg and fries on it. Top it off with drinks and live music from local bands at Spirit Music Hall!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course my partner in business and life, Mary Kate Noonan, deserves the biggest shout out. Without her, this project would have never started. I’d also like to thank every art teacher or professor either of us have ever had. From kindergarten to college, we have been fortunate in our arts education with mentors who believed in us both and support us still to this day.
Facebook: MadKat Studios