Steel has quality and a historical presence Michael's drawn to. He feels a strong bond with those people who first fused iron with carbon ... using only heat, sweat, and tenacity. he's deeply interested in proto (prehistoric)-art, the history of metalworking and it's role in ancient cultures. He finds beauty in simplicity and superior functional design ... meticulous craftsmanship ... and the influence of mathematical principles and ratios. He started Hammered Heart Forge in 2010.
Michael is a dedicated artist based in Sharpsburg, Georgia. His interest in metals began in the US Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion School and grew as he worked in engineering fields for Ford Motor Co. and Gulfstream Aerospace. While in Michigan, he earned degrees in both Engineering (BSIM) and Education (MAEd). ‘Not exactly a background one would expect an artist to have, but his fascination with the transient qualities of steel only intensified until he started his first metal studio in Savannah, GA in 2001.
Savannah, Georgia is where Michael became heavily involved with Savannah’s architectural ironwork restoration projects in that city's huge historic district. He also began creating ornate headboard and furniture designs which led to his being featured on an episode of HGTV’s ‘Modern Masters’ program in 2006. Michael's work has been subject of print articles in Savannah Magazine, Southern Handmade, and Coweta Magazine.
Michael is also the founder and Director of Artisans Heritage Guild, a local coalition of accomplished artisans dedicated to teaching others and starting a school of traditional art.
California ... outside Sacramento is where he still considers home ... though a true sense of 'home' is difficult for those raised in military families. He’s lived in many US states as well as Izmir, Turkey, and Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Other ‘interesting’ experiences include being the Captain (USCG Master) of his own 40 foot sailing sloop, a truck driver, a scuba instructor, a fishing boat deckhand, a migrant agricultural worker, a staff management consultant, a public speaker advocating artistic creation, submarine nuclear power plant operator, motorcycle restoration, automotive body design engineer, manufacturing engineer, defense contractor training consultant, non-profit organization director, corporate management trainer and, oddly ... a career counselor.
Interview trailer with Michael
Viktor is the constant companion ... a 98-pound german shepherd-malinois mix. Michael wins at Scrabble and has better table manners, however ... Viktor is better at squirrel-catching and patiently tolerates Michael's eccentricities and late hours. They're rarely apart ...
He lives in a space of his own design and construction on the second story of a horse barn which is located on a fifty acre horse ranch, along with his studio, near Sharpsburg, Georgia.