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 Michael Kay, Ceramic Artist


Born in London, England. Bachelor of Fine Arts at Willesden College of Art in 1959. After many years of working as a graphic designer and running a successful design firm, I discovered clay in the early 90s. I was fascinated immediately.
So much so that in 1992-93 I resumed my studies and I took a ceramics class at the university level at Goldsmiths College in London. In 1994, I settled in south-western France.


Activities and philosophy
Since I discovered working with clay, I am increasingly fascinated by the incredible complexity and unpredictable nature of this material. Clay offers vast possibilities for shaping forms and their decoration. The concept of “The Illustrated Vessel” opens many possibilities for me, with the application of playful or narrative images on a three-dimensional canvas, using the volume and sculptural characteristics of the shape. My pieces can be seen as sculptures, but it is important for me they are containers. I can start a piece with a clear idea of the decoration that it will have, or else create the shape for itself and see the picture it develops. Most often my pieces are thrown then altered, modified with additions of turned sections or coils. I use red or white earthenware or a mixture of the two. The coloured glazes are applied raw, then I engrave in the clay as I would draw on paper. After the initial firing I rework the design using oxides and pigments under-glaze before the final application of a transparent glaze.
I am very influenced by old traditions, but I always try to free myself from them and find new ways to tell old stories. I want to cross the traditional boundaries in the presentation of ceramics by using it to engage the viewer to the story, or fantasy, in the same manner as did the storytellers of ancient Greece.


Michael Kay
Ceramic Artist
24440 Ste Croix de Beaumont
Tel : +33 (0)5 53 22 56 83 / +33 (0)6 72 80 09 07
Studio / Gallery open by appointment
Website :
Email :

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