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Penny Michel: Unearthing a vision

By Vicki Hillhouse

There’s a reason Penny Michel’s ceramic sculptures often look as if they could have been part of an archaeological discovery. The lines, textures, shapes and figures in her pieces are inspired by a childhood among Roman and Phoenician ruins in Carthage, Tunisia.

A resident artist at Telander Gallery, she started in ceramics in the 1970s and studied it as her major in college.

“Pretty much anything you can make out of clay — I’ve done it,” she says.

Art, however, wasn’t her initial career path. Instead, she went into finance, working in international banking for about a decade before reevaluating and turning back to her first love.

Working in ceramics is tricky because the process the original creation is changed by the effect of glaze.

“It’s a hard medium, in a way, because you build and then you glaze, and they’re two completely different worlds,” she says.

Watch a video to learn more about Penny Michel by clicking here!