Much of my work is a reflection of my long held fascination with Nature. The satisfaction I feel while spending time observing in wild places is the strongest inspiration for my artistic work. I am especially interested in the similarity I see in living bodies that are well adapted to moving fluently through the environments of air and water. I find them inherently beautiful, and many of my designs are reflections of these kinds of forms.
My sculptural medium is fabricated sheet metal. I begin with flat sheets of metal and work them into complex curves using a variety of hand and powered tools. Some of these tools I have built from salvaged or re-purposed materials. I generally work the metal in a cold state, although annealing with a torch is sometimes necessary to achieve very deep forms. Each of my sculptures is made up of individual hammer-formed pieces which are assembled by welding or riveting to make up the larger composition.
As a preliminary to the actual metal shaping, I make conceptual sketches of my subject then carve a model from wood. I pattern the surface of the model by covering it with multiple layers of masking tape. When the tape is removed in one piece as a single layer, it retains the contours of the carved surface and becomes the primary reference for forming the metal to the desired shapes.
The coloring on my steel work is caused by oxidation. It is the natural reaction of the metal to heat and air. Each hue corresponds to a specific temperature range of the heated metal. This can be controlled in ways to give layered effects which are then sealed with a protective coating. When working in bronze, I use traditional patinas and wax formulas to color the work.
My technical skills developed over several decades working in the fields of taxidermy, sign making, canoe restoration, and sheet metal fabrication. Although I have enjoyed many mutually instructive relationships with other artists and craftsmen, I consider myself to be self-taught.
Mark Goodenough lives in Rockingham, Vermont with his wife and son. His studio is across the Connecticut River in Walpole, New Hampshire.