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Hank Goodman Stoneware
18 Rockwood Lane
Arden, North Carolina 28704
Phone/Fax (828) 687-7959

Somewhere between the distinctive glazes and graceful forms of Hank Goodman Stoneware lies another layer, one you sense more than see. This is where individual artistry comes alive, drawing on subtle yet strong influences from centuries of art history, decades of family tradition, and years of personal experience. Hints of historical Oriental and Western vessels show up in each vase and bottle, teapot and sculpture. An appreciation for the lush landscape of the North Carolina mountains is expressed in the natural tones of the ash glazes. And the importance of family, education, and travel lend shape to the work as surely as Hank's own skilled hands.

Like all good art, it has taken a lifetime to develop Hank Goodman Stoneware, starting years ago on the family farm in northwest Iowa. Hank grew up working with his hands, guided by a mother who loved crafts and provided him with many opportunities to create objects in clay and other media. In his senior year at Buena Vista University at Storm Lake, Iowa, he was drawn to the potter's wheel and the centering of clay. After graduating with an Art Education degree in 1972 and three years later with an MFA in ceramics from the University of Iowa, he returned to the family farm to set up his first studio.

Soon, though, social pressures forced him to get a "real job." Even so, these took him to interesting places that have lent a certain luster to his work: an assistant professorship at a small Midwestern college; a fine arts directorship at a private school in Colombia, South America; and high school and college teaching in El Paso, Texas.

Fortunately, Hank eventually returned to his true calling. His stoneware can be found in a wide variety of homes and offices, complementing contemporary décor and blending into more formal settings as well. The ceramic style he pursued in the Southwest has matured in the North Carolina mountains, where he has lived with his wife, Vicki, and two daughters since 1998. Hank finds the rugged terrain and natural beauty there, along with the integrity of those he calls friends and neighbors, provide a rich environment for his creativity. He also makes time for gardening and cooking, which complement his understanding of the long relationship between pottery and food.

If you were to stop by his studio nestled in a valley just outside Asheville, Hank would tell you there is something very special for him about making things that occupy space, that he finds this work so much more rewarding than making two-dimensional art forms. "I like to produce pottery that can be useful and at the same time make a statement of form," he would explain. "My work is most often large scale-bottles and vases as high as 24 inches-and in the style of Mediterranean and Greek shapes. I like to create work that looks as though it could have been found in an ancient tomb."

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