From the moment I observed my eleventh grade art teacher working at the potters wheel I was hooked. I fell in love with the qualities of clay. Plastic, fluid, soft, stiff, delicate, and fragile yet willing to respond. This wonderful medium takes form in my heart, head and hands. It’s been a love affair for over fifty years!

As I expand my ideas for the forms I create, it is the clay that dictates the direction. Usually the initial shape is quite simple, round, vertical, and smooth. My fingers move across the soft, pliable clay surface shifting and altering the shape and embellishing the surface.

Currently, I am working with a variety of porcelain clay bodies. Many of my pieces are wheel thrown. I am experimenting with colored clay slips, Neriage, and Nikrome patterned forms. I also enjoy working with hand built altered slab vessels and slip-poured plaster molds I have created. These shapes are mostly functional while a few are decoratively sculptural. I struggle to escape the demands of function, allowing the form to develop sculpturally. I strive to honor ideal elements of function, the use of space, and the illumination of the form. I set high craftsmanship standards for each piece I create.

I have devoted over thirty years to teaching ceramics in the public school system. I enjoyed wonderful “time outs” over the years completing a Masters Degree in Ceramics, attending many workshops to develop my skills and interest in pottery, and traveling extensively to Italy, Japan, and Latin America to study ceramics. I completed my teaching career as an adjunct professor in the ceramics program at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. This opportunity encouraged me to explore my personal work.

I am a member of the Potters’ Guild of Frederick and currently exhibit my work in this Gallery in downtown Frederick, MD. I work out of a small ceramic studio in a converted horse barn adjacent to my home. I exhibit and sell my ceramics three times a year with Penny McCrea, a pastel painter and photographer, as members of the Countryside Artisans Studio and Gallery Tour. We are a group of local artists/craftsman nestled in the rural area of Sugarloaf Mountain, one of the most beautiful sights in mid-Maryland. I am a member of the Hyattstown Mill Arts Project, a community of artists. These groups offer support, encouragement, growth, and community. I am grateful for these opportunities and friendships.


  © Copyright 2017 Michael Cohen Holdahl. All rights reserved.
Website by Stone Graphics