Cafe Pasqual's Gallery sadly announces the passing of Michelle Goodman on January 9. Michelle's work moved us, as she showed us how to see, and how to feel her eager, evolving visions in her clay vessels, sculpted ceramic wire works and mixed media. Michelle Goodman lived and worked as the Artists' Artist. All who knew her through our Gallery, staff, and patrons alike, felt blessed to know such a superb individual. Michelle will be deeply missed and her wonderful being closely held always. It has been our distinct privilege to represent her and to exhibit her consummate work. There will be a retrospective exhibition of her work at a future date. Place and time of the Michelle Goodman Retrospective will be published.
I love to throw clay on a wheel and the meditative feel of centering. When the form is complete, I enjoy the surprise of seeing the finished piece. Nothing is for certain in ceramics. In whatever form the final firing takes, contingency is present. Copper may turn red or it may turn green. It is the elemental magic of fire. I am inspired by forms from ancient pottery and by everyday objects like old screwdriver handles and peppermills. My style is ever evolving. I work with several different kinds of clay. Pit fire, Raku, soda fire, high and low fire are all of interest to me.
I was born in San Rafael California in 1952. I grew up in Reno Nevada. As a child drawing was my entertainment and my refuge from a chaotic childhood. When I was thirteen my art teacher arranged for me to take summer art classes at the University of Nevada. I took Life Drawing, Art History and Ceramics. In my Ceramics Class I threw cylinders and made small pinch pot sculptures. We took field trips to dig clay. As an adult, my art education has taken place primarily in relation to other artists who have acted as mentors or as sounding boards. They have looked at my work and responded in deep and practical ways. It is my good fortune that these exchanges have happened naturally over time.
I have lived in Santa Fe for 35 years. During that time I’ve been in group shows at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Charlotte Jackson Fine Arts, Axle Contemporary, Peters Projects and Santa Fe Clay. In the past I worked as a decorative painter and then as a graphic designer.
Until recently the class that I took as a teenager was my only exposure to clay, but I feel as if the work that I have done in other mediums is feeding into my present work and I have come home to clay.
Fierce, fearless exploration into forms and function. Potter, and mixed media artist, Goodman employs a range of kiln firing – variously, soda, wood-fired, electric or gas. She might work in porcelain, terra cotta, or dark deep brown clay. Goodman's finishes are also many, magnesium, crackle, ball clay, or even refired over-under glazes.
She throws utilitarian pieces, handsome bottles and vases or sculpts forms with ceramic glazed wire for wall or mobiles. Each demi-tasse is unique, and teapots may feature a vintage lizard or grasshopper toy for the lids' handle. A spoon of crackle glazed porcelain with a tangle of a warren of bailing wire twisted handles. Fused and falling forms, a wire-tied stack of uniform glossy glazed discs, or just one large white large disc quietly, unassumingly, flat on a table its' perfect circle covered in a thick shiny white glaze that begs to be touched. Innovative rampages are the signatures of Goodman's boundless explorations with clay, glaze and wire. A 16.8 degree of difficulty – a high wire act. Always elegantly executed.