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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Michael Sherrill

  I am compelled by the sensation of seeing things fresh, as if for the first time: like waking from sleep and being surprised by all that surrounds me. In my case, I see the flora and fauna outside my studio, and among them are discoveries and epiphanies.

    My desire is to create something that might bring the observer to this same place of wonder. For me to respond to a stimulant and then to make it work is one thing, but its another for that work to make the next step and draw a likewise response from the viewer.


Primarily a self taught artist, Michael Sherrill moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to the Western North Carolina mountains in 1974. His primary influences came from being in the proximity of the North Carolina folk pottery tradition and the community surrounding Penland School of Crafts and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. Specific individuals who have influenced significantly his development include Cynthia Bringle, Don Reitz and Sid Oakley.  He is a frequent instructor at Penland and has taught at craft schools and workshops across the country.  Michael has always been a bit of an inventor and in 1995 he designed a line of tools for potters and sculptors—the birth of Mudtools®.  In 2002, Michael was a featured presenter and lecturer at the U.S. Clay exhibition of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Museum of American Craft. In 2003, Michael was honored as Artist of the Year by the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, N. Carolina.  As part of the International Ceramics Symposium/WOCEF, Michael is one of 10 artists invited to build outdoor sculptures to be placed permanently at the International Ceramic Museum in Inchon, S. Korea, in the summer of 2004.

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