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mark goudy: clay as catharsis

An undergraduate degree in Marine Biology, graduate degree in Electrical Engineering and a decades long career working in graphics computing come together seamlessly in Mark Goudy’s ceramic art.


After one of his jobs ended, he took an extended trip with his wife and while they traveled, realized that life was out of balance and that it was time to make some changes. “We realized we could live a lot more simply and do more of what we wanted, which was travel. And art. So we did it.” I like the way he thinks.


Although Goudy’s mother was a potter, he only took his first ceramics class five years ago and in 2010 received an emerging artist award.  Explaining his signature technique he says, “My approach is to combine ancient methods of stone-burnishing and earthenware firing with computer-aided shape design to produce talismans that fuse traditional and modern aesthetics. Surface markings are created by painting water-soluble metal salts on bisque-fired clay. These watercolors permeate the clay body, and become a permanent part of the surface when fired.”



Goudy means for each each vessel or pod to be held and then, when set on a flat surface, to gently rock, eventually coming to rest at their own natural balance point – the results are beautiful, restful, soothing.

After a twenty-year engineering career, working in the virtual world of computer chip design, I found the process of clay work to be a catharsis. The physical nature of handbuilding unique pieces from this plastic medium was immediately satisfying. Soon I was applying my analytical and problem-solving skills to the multivariate issues that surfaced in the clay studio, and exercising my right brain to construct shapes in a totally intuitive way.


Mark Goudy’s website

Great interviews with Goudy here and here


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