| Michael Hough: Clay and Metal Sculpture |
I am a Collector. Gathered in my studio, in my office, and at home are thousands of found objects; displayed on shelves, grouped as still lifes, and balanced on each other as models for future works, or I pick them up just because the objects look really interesting. There are bones, machine elements, furniture parts, toys, and found ceramic objects. Each has a story and a history, and each is visually intriguing. My ceramic sculpture, and wall reliefs are derived from these; either as enlarged copies or as stylized responses to each. The wall reliefs begin with a table full of clay “parts”, assembling each still-life intuitively, searching for a visual and emotional relationship between each. I hunt for contrasts that are fun, that intrigue, and cause you to ask “What was this guy thinking?”.
My welded steel sculptures are constructed like assemblage. Working with farm implements, industrial cut-offs, and interesting scrap yard finds, I weld each piece to the next in search of formalist relations. I look at the lines, shapes and negative spaces the parts create, relishing the process of discovery, and the surprise of how the individual elements relate.
I am interested in scale, how a viewer interacts with piece of sculpture that is larger than they are. The ceramic pieces are bigger than life, dwarfing the viewer, breaking the rule that clay is not supposed to be big. The wall pieces are based on the knick-knack shelf; a gathering place for the strange, the sentimental, and the kitsch. I am interested in junk drawers, those repositories of miscellaneous found in most kitchens. Each object has a story to tell and combined give a glimpse into the owner’s life.