Precious metals, found objects, printmaking methods, collage, and drawing – all are unpredictable elements in Michele Ratté’s extraordinary work. Each piece evokes a primordial connection to the earth and sea. A combination of handwork, assemblage and replication merge in Ratté’s personal vision of the physical world. Her blending of high karat metals with common materials reflects a strong interest in geologic, biologic, and transformative processes.
Ratté has invented several unique printing processes to obtain specific results in her art. Most recently, she developed a method for permanent gilding onto surfaces with colleague, artist Joan Morris, and chemist Dr. Miklos Breuer. Ratté and Morris were awarded a U.S. patent for this process in 2006 and collaborated on a series of large-scale 23kt gold monoprints. This collection of work has been shown widely in the United States and abroad. Three of the monoprints are in the permanent collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum (Hartford, CT), and the Rhode Island School of Art Museum.
Educated at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, Ratté was the recipient of the College’s Marcus Heiman Award for Achievement in the Arts, as well as, the Marcus Heiman Project Award. She furthered her study at the Broadbrook Mountain School, Royalton, VT with master printmakers Ray and Holly Nash, and at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center with Michael Mazur. Ratté established a printmaking studio at Vineyard Arts Cooperative on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and spent many years on the Vineyard teaching printmaking, exhibiting, and steadily making her art. In 2009 Ratté returned to her home state of Vermont and renovated a chicken barn where she works full time on her sculpture, collage and printmaking.
In 2013 Ratté was awarded a Dune Shack Residency by the Outer Cape Artist Residency Consortium in Provincetown, MA.