MY STORY

My life in ceramics started in 1972, when, at the age of 18, I enrolled in California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in Oakland.  There, I studied ceramic art under the tutelage of Viola Frey, Peter Voulkos and Art Nelson.  Although I hadn’t yet developed my style, I was able to hone my skills at one of the finest art schools on the West Coast.  After earning a BFA in 1975, I continued my education at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. At Otis, I studied more about how to incorporate sculpture into my ceramics and received my MFA in 1976.
 

Following graduate school, I decided to get married and raise a family.  So I shelved my ceramics for a bills-paying job in construction, specifically, custom tile work. Later, I worked at my father's manufacturing business and in sales before resuming my art career in 2001.

Over the past fourteen years, I’ve refined all facets of my ceramic art. Each piece is handmade and one of a kind, the result of meticulous throwing, sculpting, carving and firing at my studio in Burbank, California. I'm inspired by the classic forms of the Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. But rather than mere imitations, my work features original design motifs and original high-fire glaze combinations that have taken years to perfect.  

I continue to learn about ceramics and have broadened my knowledge by collecting vintage and antique pottery. Currently, I teach adult and children’s ceramics classes at the Creative Arts Center in Burbank while offering private lessons at my home studio.

 

I’m still married to my beautiful high school sweetheart, Karen, and we have two sons, Jason (a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies and New York Yankees) and Matthew (a deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office).  We also have three grandchildren (Brady, Hudson and Luke), with a fourth on the way. 

 

Michael J Hirsh

Ceramics

Michael J Hirsh Ceramics