Michael Bolen

artist statement

In the creation of vessels, I engage in a dance with clay that honors its ancient and sacred nature.  Drawing upon the primitive, I work to create a piece that elicits a response beyond the senses. Often accented with primal patterns of the curved feminine line or the sharp angle of the masculine, be it carved into or applied to the surface, I explore balance and harmony between these two poles. Using a variety of firing techniques ranging from Raku and pit fire to high fire stoneware I produce wares that often have an ancient aura about them.


about michael bolen

Born August 1947 in the wilds of Central California.  A ceramic artist for over 40 years, he gained his formal education in ceramics while an art major at Bakersfield College under the direction of Vic Bracke and Clayton Rippy.

Inspired by such potters as Paul Soldner, Warren MacKenzie, Otto Heino and Robert Piepenburg, Michael’s focus shifted from the functional to more contemporary ceramic forms making use of primitive methods of firing such as Raku and pit firing.

Michael has shown his work in numerous solo shows as well as group and gallery exhibitions from Seattle to Southern California.  He currently works from his studio in Clarkdale AZ.