Born and raised in Tigerville, SC, Michel was perhaps inspired creatively by his mother. He began making pots just after finishing high school and continued playing with clay as a hobby for twenty-five years while working in heating and air conditioning. In 2003, in response to arm surgery, he was no longer able to work and pursued pottery as a livelihood.
He moved to North Carolina in 2008 and still specializes in historically inspired American stoneware. “The forms I create are reminiscent of vessels traditionally made in South Carolina…..so full and round. But my interests go beyond South Carolina to a more worldly inspiration.”
Michel makes his own glazes, mostly traditional alkaline glazes, and fires in a wood-fired kiln. He evolves traditional incising design or colored slips to a more complicated level of detail. His merging of tradition and ingenuity recently afforded him a nationally prestigious award as a traditional artisan in 2009’s Directory of Traditional American Crafts.
Michel’s face jugs are very distinct. He uses a traditional technique of adding clay to the outside of the jugs; however, he has created a quite remarkable alternative process, hand-carving and manipulating the face from within, creating a profoundly refreshing beauty, from the inside out.