There is a tremendous reflection of our humanity in handmade objects. When you make things by hand, somehow that energy, that tension, that passion, all gets absorbed into the object.
Michael is highly inspired by his surroundings and often makes sculptures of objects that might otherwise be overlooked in the everyday. Nature is his biggest muse, as is the handmade process.
Trained as a painter, sculptor, and art historian, Michael has neatly applied his diverse background to the decorative arts. Lyrical and often witty, his work encompasses a wide range of media and reveals a rich and variant source of inspiration – nature, mythology, narrative storytelling, and purified form. Michael’s work is also a celebration of craft and age-old hand working traditions. It is the enduring fusion of these ideals – originality, narrative, and craftsmanship – that has become the hallmark of this gifted artist.
Motif & Inspiration
Michael is highly inspired by his surroundings and often makes sculptures of objects that might otherwise be overlooked in the everyday. Nature is his biggest muse, as is the handmade process. His work combines the imperfections innate in the handmade process with the perfectly imperfect beauty of nature to create objects that reflect humanity. Many of his pieces are ingrained with a rich storyline, inherent symbolism, and deep-rooted meaning. Sometimes his work is simply an exploration and celebration of the handmade process.
The Making Process
Fascinated with the richness of the living crafts tradition which he discovered on his first trip to Delhi, Michael would seek out craftsmen in the old city by listening for the sound of metal being beaten and by searching for the aroma of baked molasses, a signal of the sand casting process. The artisans he encountered were making ordinary objects such as buckets, shovels, and scissors, but for Michael, their traditional techniques were extraordinary. Michael spent hours observing artisans as they made things the same way families had made them for centuries. Touched by the talent and humility of these gifted artisans, Michael set up a studio in India where he has created his work for over 30 years. Today, over 200 artisans work alongside him in his workshop where the same creative interaction between artist and artisan remains the source of every object that Michael makes.