Michael made a range of domestic ware - bowls, mugs, dishes, jugs, teapots etc. as well as vases, small and large plates and bottles.
He has now, September 2013, closed his studio and is no longer making new work.
I use mainly stoneware clay which I buy from Dobles in Cornwall and either throw on an electric wheel (for mugs, bowls and round plates, teapots, jugs and vases of different sizes} or roll in sheets of constant thickness and press into plaster moulds (for square large and small plates and bottles).The plaster moulds I make using a pre-prepared form.
After partial drying (to leather hard) the pots may be trimmed, handles fixed to mugs and jugs and spouts to tea pots. The pots are allowed to dry fully and then fired for about 8 hours to 980 degrees C (so called "biscuit fired").
When cooled the pots are glazed. A glaze is a suspension in water of various naturally occurring compounds containing silica for the glass, aluminium , calcium, magnesium etc., wood ash feldspar whiting etc. and colour forming materials - iron,copper, barium, manganese,chromium etc
I use a small number of glazes; a dark brown/black japanese glaze called "Tenmoku"; a white ash glaze made from fir tree ash; a green wood ash glaze made from mixed hardwood ash; and a dolomite glaze which with my clay gives a speckled off white colour. The glazed pots are fired for about 9 hours to 1280 degreesC.
I now have an electric kiln which has been modified to also use gas for reduction for controlled firing for Oil Spot glaze development
chemical technologist by training - a chemist among engineers and
an engineer among chemists; thirty years in the food industry in
various functions: chemist, factory manager, personnel manager;
ten years in UNICEF in personnel management; lived and worked in
UK, Israel, New Zealand, Holland, USA, Denmark.
Took early retirement and returned to London, played "Oblomov" for two years; took courses in photography and discovered not Cartier Bresson;took courses in drawing and life classes and found not Leonardo; spent seven years practising and studying shiatsu with a Japanese sensei which stimulated an all pervading interest in Japanese life, culture, arts and Zen Buddhism.
In 1994 I happened upon a five day pottery throwing workshop in the City Lit. and never looked back. Studied with Dan Kelly & Jonathan Switzman in the City Lit and Pamela Leung & Kenny Menczer in Kingsway College; workshops with Phil Rogers & David Leach. Have made five working trips to Japan. I worked full time in the Dartmouth Park Pottery in Archway, London, from 1995 to 2008.
In 2008 I moved to a new studio in Manor Farm,
My first trip in 1998 for a month, was to visit major pottery towns, potters, ceramic museums and pottery fairs and temples. In all I visited Tokyo, Mashiko ( home of Hamada) Kasume, Kyoto, Nara, Tokoname, Toki and Bizen - a rare feast. A lasting impression of a country where pottery is made in many places.Where there are whole villages of potters and a long and unbroken cultural, artistic, aesthetic and technical tradition. The Japanese appreciate ceramics, buy them extensively and use them daily for their food and pleasure.
I returned two years later to visit other potters and to work in a pottery- which I did for a month in Ichishi, Mie Prefecture, south east of Osaka; with a Japanes potter of Korean origin. I not only made pots using a kick wheel for the first time but assisted the potter prepare for an exhibition including a seventeen hour continuous wood firing. I also visited Shigaraki for the opening of a new Anagama kiln in Tanikangama, Tanii Hozan's pottery and met a number of local potters with whom I maintain contact. I met warmth and generosity wherever I went.In 2003 I returned to study Tenmoku glazing with one of Japan's foremost specialists Dr Takai Ryuzou at the Shigaraki Ceramic Research Institute.