Betty Woodman’s penchant for pottery began when she was young. However, as pottery was largely considered a field for men at the time, she needed tenacity and persistence to pursue her goals. Her resolve was evident in seventh grade, when, tired of the sewing and cooking classes girls were required to take, Betty petitioned to take wood shop. Her efforts proved successful.
Betty attended Alfred from 1948 to 1950. Despite her degree and the full support of her family, Betty’s opportunity to showcase her talents didn’t arrive until the 70's when institutions began welcoming the work of female potters. She initially specialized in functional pieces, yet in the later years of her life, she transitioned into multimedia art. She was known for joining eclectic elements together to modernize more traditional forms.
Her bold, colorful, and distinct style earned her numerous awards and global respect. Among her many accomplishments are the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (which she received in both 1980 and 1986) and the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship in Italy (which she was awarded in 1996).