Betty Woodman at her show Theatre of the Domestic. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian
Author Profile
Betty Woodman

Betty Woodman (1930-2018), graduated from the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University in 1950. In her six-decade career, she taught twenty years at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and worked in her studios in Florence, Italy, and New York. She's had over one hundred solo exhibitions worldwide, including a 2006 retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the first living female artist to do so), and Breakfast At The Seashore Lunch in Antella, at Salon 94 in 2016. 


"I'm challenged by what I'm doing. I'm most interested in the piece in the kiln right now, and in the next piece I'm going to make. In that sense, I am very happy with who I am."
Mimbres Pottery - Vol. 28 No. 1, December 1999
I do not use color to enhance form. The painting I do - i.e. slip, glaze, colors, overglaze, etc. - is not subservient to a clay object. I try to coordinate a dance between ceramics and painting.
Portugal. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer and paint. 34.25 x 29.5 x 18 in. 2005.
As soon as I pick up a brush and paint with some form of cobalt on a piece, I am putting it into the context of ceramic history, from China to Persia to Holland, Portugal, and Italy.
Betty Woodman in Italy.
The reader may wonder what nostalgic musings about the Tuscan landscape have to do with earthenware. For me the physical and cultural context of Italy has had a great deal to do with my development as a potter and has finally led me to earthenware.
Carl and Jeanne Judson, Jim and Nan McKinnell, John Dunn, Nancy Beckner, Ken Williams, Steve and Ruth Briggs, Bill Alexander, Betty Woodman, and Paul Soldner.