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Michael Kay is a Ceramic Artist who creates colourful, decorative and sculptural figurative ceramic pieces.
Born in London, England. He graduated from Willesden College of Art
in 1959 with a degree in Painting and Printmaking.
It was only after spending many years working as a Graphic Designer, successfully running his own design studio, that in the early 90’s he discovered the medium of clay. He was immediately hooked and in 1992-3 he undertook a one-year Post Graduate Diploma Course in ceramics at Goldsmith’s, (University of London).
In 1994 after graduation from Goldsmiths he moved to South West France where he and his wife Sue set about renovating an old farmhouse and built a studio.
“Since discovering clay I have become fascinated by the amazing complexity and unpredictability of the medium and the endless possibilities for the making and decorating of a form. I have found that in the concept of “The Illustrated Vessel”, the application of fun, playful and narrative images onto a three dimensional canvas, using the volumetric and sculptural aspects of the form, open up endless creative possibilities. My pieces could be seen as sculptural but they are always vessels, this is important to me”.
“I may commence the making of a piece with a clear idea of the form and surface treatment beforehand, or create the form in isolation and simply see what develops. My pieces are usually thrown and altered, or added to by the addition of small coils or further throwing”.
Clay is red or white earthenware. Surface imagery is applied with coloured slips at the raw state,and the clay is carved into, much as one would draw on paper. After the first bisque firing, further drawing is made using oxides and coloured pigments before a final clear, transparent glaze is applied. Sometimes further low fire glazes are added and a third firing follows”.