Fine Ceramics


email: [email protected]

phone: 360-362-9142

Mike Middlestead is a ceramic artist specializing in stoneware and earthenware pottery and sculptures. His interest in ceramics came as a surprise later in life. After 25 years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard, Mike returned to school to study environmental science. During an introduction to Art class, Mike discovered ceramics and has not looked back since. Sculptural work has recently consumed most of Mike’s efforts. His love for the water and environment as well as his relationship with people and the environment is a focal point for Mike’s forms. This is evident when you see his work. 

You can find Mike (and his Art) at special events and galleries around the Olympic Peninsula. Additionally, a large installation piece called “Market Price” was purchased by the Peninsula College Foundation and can be found on permanent display at Peninsula College. 

As a ceramic artist, my goal is to bring a touch of artistry and elegance into every home. I believe in the beauty of handmade objects. Making ceramic art is a deliberate attempt to slow down, connect to something deeper, and take time to appreciate the pleasure of creating. What is most attractive to me about using clay is that it is elastic and fluid, it requires only manipulation to become something greater than what it started out as.  

I have always found myself inspired by the natural world and the human body. Nature and life embody perfection and imperfection and allows beauty to show in both. Imperfections in nature are not shortcomings but something beautiful to be embraced; the irregularity of the bark of the tree or of the trunk as it adapts in its growth to respond to the light or an obstacle in its path; The shadows in the creases from a smile or the delicate beauty found in different body shapes.  

Because my work is both functional and sculptural, I consider it to be both useful and beautiful. It is beautiful because it is useful, and useful because it is beautiful. Ceramics, to me, is art that has become an active part of life. From this perspective, there is no essential difference between ceramic art and functional pottery. As a ceramicist, I use earth in the form of clay, water so as to shape the clay, fire to turn the clay into stone and encompass air inside of the new form that is created. The new form is a result of a confluence of the elements of nature with the hands, mind, and heart of the maker.