Michael has been a studio potter since 1993. He studied pottery, painting, and printmaking at the University of Tennessee from 1983-1986 and holds a BFA.
He also studied under Michael Simon at the Penland School of Crafts in 1989. After teaching pottery at the Westside YMCA in New York City from 1986-1989 he joined Mark Shapiro in Worthington , MA and built a studio and kiln at Stonepool Pottery.
In 1993 Michael began his Okra Pottery Studio. He designed and created wood fired-salt glazed tableware with a botanical theme in Massachusetts until 1998 when he was awarded a Resident Artist position at the Penland School of Crafts.
While at Penland Michael developed a body of work in translucent porcelain. In addition to the porcelain work Michael developed a body of larger scale stoneware pottery inspired by the traditional stoneware of the Catawba Valley and Seagrove areas of North Carolina.
At the end of his tenure as Resident Artist Michael designed a kiln to fire his new body of stoneware. The kiln is designed to fire exclusively with edgings and remainder wood from local sawmills and is large enough to fire his large scale pottery as well his tableware. The kiln is fired five times a year.
The pottery features botanical themes, glass runs, and alkaline ash glaze. Michael lives in Bakersville, North Carolina with his wife, goldsmith Stacey Lane. They have two daughters Evelyn and Lillian and a beagle named Ruby.