Precious metals, mineral pigments, printing, collage, stitching, and drawing – all 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 natural objects merge in Ratté’s personal vision of the physical world. Her blending of high karat metals with common materials reflects a strong interest in alchemical and transformative processes.
Ratté invented several unique printing processes to obtain specific results in her art. Most recently, she developed a method for permanent gilding onto textiles with artist colleague Joan Morris. Ratté and Morris were awarded a U.S. patent for this process in 2006 and collaborated on a series of large-scale 23kt gold prints. Their ground-breaking work has been shown widely in the United States and abroad, and is in the permanent collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum (Hartford, CT) and the Rhode Island School of Art Museum (Providence, RI).
Educated at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction), 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 on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts where she taught printmaking and exhibited her prints and collages.
Ratté relocated to southern Vermont in 2009. Shortly after, she won the Bennington Museum’s Regional Arts Program competition for a one-person show ("Michele Ratté - Splendent Earth", June 25 – August 7, 2011). Vermont Public Radio aired a review of the show on their program "Picture This" by commentator Anne Lawrence Guyon, July 18, 2011. In 2013 Ratté was awarded a Dune Shack Residency by the Outer Cape Artist Residency Consortium in Provincetown, MA.