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Master of Furniture Design

Erica Larkin Gaudet

Photographed by Greg Miles

Tell us about your background. After graduating from Loyola University with a degree in sculpture I immediately started creating custom metal furniture and art. I was very determined to make a living as a sculptor 23 years ago and have not stopped since.
 
Who are the principals of your business? Myself, my two studio assistants, Lyles Polk and Debow Alexander, as well as an army of fabricators, upholsterers, suppliers and installers and my husband, glass artist, Mitchell Gaudet.
 
How does New Orleans affect your profession? What are the benefits and challenges? New Orleans’ rich history of great design, diversity of cultures and unique presence constantly fills me with inspiration and connects me to a world of truly talented people. I am not only impressed by the city’s creative artisans, but I also benefit by working with incredible clients, architects and designers whose amazing homes and projects showcase my furniture and art.
One challenge is not having enough time to create all of my designs and sculptural pieces.

Tell us about your current projects. Recently I installed a 10-foot metal sculpture on Poydras Street with the support of the Sculpture for New Orleans Project. I am currently introducing my new line of furniture designs using elegant materials, hand-pleated leathers and metals with specialty finishes. I tend to avoid trends and believe that these pieces are a fresh take on classics that will stay current a long time.   

What else would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? I can’t imagine anything else I’d love to do more. I am obsessed with furniture and sculpture, and I take great pride in being the “maker” in the process of creating. I joke around saying there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears throughout the years in my business, but the real truth is that there was more sweat and blood than tears.

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