The Inwood Pottery Studio: An Oral History with Lorrie Goulet

by Cole Thompson

Lorrie Goulet poses in the Inwood Pottery Studios for a newspaper article about the impending closure of the Pottery.

Since launching Myinwood.net I have posted quite a bit on the Inwood Pottery Studios; which once occupied Inwood Hill Park. The pottery, the houseboat community, the idyllic setting of a nearly forgotten era has always fascinated me.

So, I was thrilled when I received an email from a former student of the Pottery named Lorrie Goulet. She wrote: “I was very happy to see this article. I was a student of Mrs. Voorhees from age seven to eleven. This was from 1932 to 1936. It was one of my happiest experiences. I was there when Mrs. Voorhees had to abandon her pottery.

I wrote a letter to Mayor LaGuardia asking him to give Mrs. Voorhees more time to move. He did give her three months more. Because of my time at the pottery, my life in art was very much influenced. I became a sculptor, and have never forgotten Mrs. Voorhees, my first teacher. I am now eighty-five years old, and still working!

Equally thrilling was the writer’s own history.

After studying ceramics as a child in Inwood Hill Park, Lorrie Goulet went on to become an accomplished sculptor. Her carvings, in both stone and wood, have been exhibited in museums around the world.

She still works out of her West 20th Street studio; a studio she once shared with her late husband, fellow sculptor Jose de Creeft. Her husband’s Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park is still a familiar and popular sight with children an adults alike.

Lorrie Goulet and her late husband Jose de Creeft.

Extending a gracious invitation, Lorrie allowed myself and fellow Inwood history sleuth Don Rice into her workspace to discuss her childhood growing up on 218th Street–just steps away from the pottery works.

Together we recorded this fascinating oral history from an Inwood of long ago.  Many thanks to Lorrie Goulet for sharing her memories with us, and now, with you:

For more information on the old Inwood Pottery Studios, click on the below links:

Inwood Pottery Studio


Inwood Arts Pioneer: Aimee Le Prince Voorhees


A Potter’s Lament

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol April 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I just finished watching the oral interview with my mentor and friend, Lorrie Goulet… it’s fantastic! Mrs. Voorhees sounds like an extraordinary woman. Of course, I didn’t know her, but to me, Lorrie Goulet is equally extraordinary! Lorrie’s been teaching and generously giving of herself to students for over fifty years. I’ve worked closely with her in her studio for the past year and a half since she’s gotten older, helping her with errands and learning sculpture from her. It is an absolutely priceless experience. I tell Lorrie all the time that she is my Mrs. Voorhees.

Cole Thompson April 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Sitting down with Lorrie was an experience that I will always treasure. You have an incredible mentor. She is truly keeping the spirit of Mrs. Voorhees, her former mentor, alive and well. Thanks for writing in. Cole

Edward April 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Lorrie Goulet is my grandmother. I grew up hearing stories about Mrs. Voorhees, and I’m glad to see her legacy kept alive by this wonderful article and interview.
Great Piece!

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