May 22, 2024

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Art Shines Through

A Clay Guild-The Clay Giver | Em Gabriel | Episode 870

Em Gabriel | Episode 870

Emily Gabriel is an accidental full time potter, formally trained as a educator but lacking an art degree. Em’s current goal is to have a mug in every house in her hometown and her ongoing mission is to bring cheerfulness to every morning with a better coffee mug.

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Can you define what a guild is?

I would say a guild is a group of people that are meeting together or are associated with each other and share a common craft.

Why a guild as apposed to a community center?

Well I think a guild incorporates more than just the people that would meet together in the community center, our guild incorporates people who have a home set up but still want to be a part of a group that is interested in growing their craft, learning more about their craft, and promoting their craft within their community.

What makes a good guild leader?

I would for sure say someone that is interested in all the abundant knowledge that are whole membership has available. As well as being able to listen to the concerns of the membership and the desires of how we would like to see our guild grow. And able to to kind of navigate all the differing opinions because there are quite of few of those as well.

What makes a good guild member?

I would say a good guild member is someone who is eager to participate in member functions or meetings and also willing to volunteer and participate in a lot of the roles that the guild needs done. So within our guild we have a team that mixes our glazes, a team that fires the kilns, we have a team that cleans the studio regularly. We have classes, so we have assistants that come from our membership. And then of course we have the executive team and we do two annual sales, so we have a sales team as well. So volunteerism is an important part of a guild.

How hard is it to be a guild board member?

Well it’s a big time commitment. We meet every month as an executive team and we discuss all the things that are added to our agenda before hand. As the secretary I gather the agenda items and submit the agenda. We probably meet for about an hour and I keep the minutes for that discussion, so it’s a lot of paying attention to what everyone had to say and just trying to keep good notes. And afterwards I produce the minutes so that is another time. In addition to that monthly meeting we also have membership meetings the following week. So I technically have a meeting twice a month. I also produce the newsletter so the executive commitment is time consuming but I wouldn’t categorize it as difficult because it is for something that I am passionate about.

How does the executive team look at the process of building the guild and an I belong here mentality?

That’s a really good question and one that I don’t know we grapple with enough. We offer classes for adults and youth and those go out to our general population. You don’t have to have any experience. So we are bringing more people into the clay community that way. But as far as helping people to feel well connected and that they belong at the guild, that’s a good question that maybe I should bring to the executive to think about and process because it’s not something I think we could easily answer right now.

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Contact

Instagram: @emgabrielart@emgabrielart