Courtney is currently the Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Western New Mexico University. Originally from the Finger Lakes area of New York, she obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Making and teaching in the mountains of southern New Mexico, Michaud strives to use natural environment, ceramic history, and contemporary art in her studio practice.
“I am most aware when humbled by nature, surrounded by landscape. When the earth and sky meet at the horizon line, a sense of wonderment is formed. Like the hazy fleeting colors in the atmosphere at sunset, I am constantly chasing the skyline which can never be touched, only seen from afar.
My ceramic inquiries begin with an acute awareness of color. Shades and hues hold associations and memories that I use to begin the forming process on the potter’s wheel. Testing and tinkering with glazes to find the perfect pigment has evolved beyond an obligatory step in the ceramic process, instead serving as a conceptual engine that provokes making. It is in the process of making vessels that I come close to touching the ephemeral.
I rely on repetition and line to allude to the beauty of natural order and the loveliness I see in the manmade. Tall and modern windmills or the patterning of leaves budding on a plant are translated into the restricted placement of minimal marks. Sleek and definitive forms create elegant edges, prompting a linear conversation in my work.
Taking notice of the everyday things that give me pause and bringing them into the studio enables me to make work that is indicative of my own experience and perspective. Through sight and use I hope to provide the user/viewer with a similar moment of contemplation. It is the fleetingness of the ever-changing light and sky that compel me to capture these sublime moments in my studio. When I can feel the beauty of the light and atmosphere I want to be able to touch this transient moment in the pots I make.”