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Michael Hough Clay and Sculptor

about artist Michael Hough

| Bio |

I have been an artist, creating ceramic, (and more recently) steel sculpture, and pottery for the past twenty-eight years. My love of all things clay began during my second year as an art student at California State University, Sacramento where I eventually earned a BA and MA in Ceramics. Prior to that, I studied film making and worked as a graphic designer for several local California firms. After several years of teaching High School art in Sacramento, I returned to school earning my Masters of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design. The MFA led to a variety of teaching positions, the most recent at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where I began in 1997.

I am married with two children, Alden and Lydia. My wife Tracy is a professor at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg. My large sculpture and ceramics studio is in New Hope Virginia, next to my home and garden

| My Studio |

My twelve-hundred square foot studio is located near my home in New Hope, Virginia. Much of my large metal sculpture is still being created at Bridgewater College, but almost everything else is made there. Downstairs I have a full ceramic space, with two kilns, and a lot of table space.

There is also a corner set up as a small gallery and is available to visitors by appointment.

about artist Michael Hough

Artist Statement

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 owners life.

about artist Michael Hough


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