Business Beat: Lacey Goodrich, Gifted Potterer With Studio On the Hill

By Carol McCracken

Visiting Lacey Goodrich’s pottery studio is like standing in the middle of a field of wild flowers in a tropical climate and trying to pick a favorite from among all the plates, cups, bowls and much more that line the walls of her Merrill Street studio. That can be hard to do.

Lacey hails from Connecticut. She received a full scholarship to study painting at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But, when she moved to Portland years ago, she couldn’t find her niche here in abstract painting – her major. So, she decided to switch over to pottery making and with that in mind she studied at Portland Pottery on Washington Avenue. The business is owned by Chris and Lisa Bruni.

She has established a nice business for herself and says she does not want it to grow any larger, although its quality and eye appeal would seem to make that a real possibility. As so many artists do, Lacey still struggles to make i financially, but not as much as she used to. Currently, her line of “Lacey” ware is sold at Maine Cottage Furniture. The company has stores in Charleston, South Carolina and South Palm Beach, Florida that also sells her pottery. A vase of hers was on the cover of its Spring 2008 catalogue.

More locally, her mix and match designs are sold at Foundry Lane at 215 Commercial Street, Portland. “We love selling her pottery. People are always coming in to add to their collections. She has a real following. We even have out of state customers who come to Foundry Lane to collect her work,” said store manager Gail Antos on a recent visit there by MHN. The store carries about 50 pieces of Lacey’s currently and they are prominently displayed at the front of the store.

This fall was a difficult time for Lacey. She almost gave up pottery making entirely. That was because some of the content of the clay she’d been using became unavailable to her. So, she had to “redevelop” her technique which was a struggle for this people-oriented upbeat person. This is not an unusual situation. Artists often have to reinvent themselves. Fortunately for Lacey, she is pleased with the outcome of this process which she had to undergo. In fact, she likes this product better than the previous one.

“Lacey” ware is also in the collection of the Museum of Art and Design and the Folk Art Museum – both in New York City. In the Portland area, you can see Lacey’s work at the Foundry Lane and the phone number there is: (207) 773-2722. Or, please visit www.foundrylane.com.

It’s not too late to do some holiday gift shopping there…