Betty Woodman: Contemporary Sculpture

May 10, 2016

Betty Woodman: Contemporary Sculpture

Betty Woodman’s works are a vibrant and uncompromisingly creative collision of clay, canvas and paint. A potter and internationally renowned contemporary artist, she has pushed the boundaries of craft into an exploration of fine art.

Betty Woodman in studio

 Woodman fell in love with clay in a high school ceramics class, and has pursued it ever since. Trained as a production potter, she quickly passed by dinner sets and moved into sculpture. Now in her mid 80s, Woodman continues energetically to add to a prolific body of artistic works. The resulting multi-media pieces are wild, modern and pretty playful!

Betty Woodman sculpture

 Seeing her exhibition, Theatre of the Domestic, was a vision in exotic shapes and unruly patterns. This intersection of colour and texture included drawings on handmade paper, painted canvas and ceramic vessels. She playing with big spaces, even using offcuts of her pottery from the studio where, fired, glazed and arranged in large friezes on the walls, they emulated climbing vines or damask wallpaper.  

One installation, The Summer House, spans the whole length of an upstairs room. A mediterranean feel encompasses the long canvas painted brightly to give perspective into a sun strewn room. Terra cotta vases stand before the painting and bowls hang, pinned to the wall, as though pottery placed on the sideboard.   

Summer House Betty Woodman


Summer House Close-ups

 In another collection of vases - often the focal point of Woodman’s creations - earthenware cutouts stand in a gaggle of brightly painted ladies. Each piece with a cylindrical vessel at her core, the women are doused in rainbow colours and draped in woven fabrics. Always surprising and defying expectation, Kimono Ladies shows another unique interpretation of the vase that is all at once abstract and classical: a figure study.

Kimono Ladies Betty Woodman

 We love the way her pieces evolve as you walk around, or even peer into, the tall and shapely vases - exploring every dimension. Woodman draws upon a wide array of influences, ranging from Greek urns and Japanese glazes to fine-boned 18th century porcelain. However, throughout her career she has plucked the vase from dusty halls of art history and transformed it into fantastic sculptural shapes reminiscent of an unfurled leaf, a ridged seashell, a woman’s body.

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Size Guide

Women's Sizing:

 33"  34 1/2" 36 1/4"   38"      40"    42"      44"  
25" 26 3/4" 28 1/2" 30" 32" 34" 36"
Low Waist
30" 31.5" 33" 35" 36.5" 38" 40"
35" 37" 38 1/2" 40" 42" 44" 46"


Size Range
2-4 4-6 6-8 8-10 12-14
33"-35" 34"-36" 36"- 39" 38"-41" 41"-44"
25"-27" 26"-28" 28"-31" 30"-33" 33"-36"
Low Waist
30"-31" 31" - 33" 33"-36" 35"-38" 38"-41"
35"-37" 36" - 38" 38"-41" 40"-43" 43"-46"

Sizing for Footwear:

Our footwear brands are from Spain and Portugal. Sizing is European. This guide will help you determine the best fit.

North American Size
European Size
5.5- 6 36
6.5-7 37
7.5-8 38
8.5-9 39
9.5-10 40
10.5-11 41