Michael Colpitts is an accomplished ceramic sculptor and dedicated meditator, combining his artistic skills with inner wisdom. Having honed his craft through self-study and collaboration with esteemed artists like Don Reitz, Toshiko Takaezu, and Paulus Berensohn, Michael draws inspiration from his extensive travels across Africa, Southeast Asia, and Ibiza, Spain.
During his time in Ibiza, Michael developed his construction techniques, utilizing hand building and pinch methods while exploring the unique properties of clay as fabric. Oriental influences now shape much of his work, infusing his Asian figurative pieces with the inner qualities of silence and peace derived from his meditation practice. Michael’s sculptures have been featured in solo and group exhibitions across Spain and prominent locations like Sun Valley, Idaho, and Marin County, California.
Sumati Colpitts, a talented ceramic sculptor, licensed massage therapist, and culinary gourmet cook, shares a deep connection with tactile wisdom and creativity expressed through her hands. Trained at the Chicago Art Institute and the Kansas City Art Institute, Sumati’s affinity for textures and colors led her to collaborate with Michael in India in 1989. Since 1997, they have worked and resided together in Sedona, Arizona.
Together, Michael and Sumati strive to capture the essence of animals and figures, imbuing their creations with an expression that evokes a sense of joy and well-being. Their artwork can be found at Ian Russell Gallery of Fine Art in Prescott, AZ, Kuivato Gallery in Sedona and Raku Gallery in Jerome, as well as Creative Gateways in Scottsdale, and the Thunderbird Artists Gallery in Carefree.
Process and Technique
Their artistic process revolves around their deep passion for working with clay. Employing slab and pinch techniques, they meticulously design and handcraft each piece without the use of molds or forms. Natural colors and various textures are skillfully incorporated to create subtle variations, infusing a sense of elegance and fun.
After air drying for 1-2 weeks, the sculptures undergo firing in a kiln reaching temperatures of up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. This initial firing strengthens the pieces and removes moisture. Colored washes such as iron oxide and manganese dioxide are then applied, s well as various glazed accents enhancing the colors and giving the sculptures their final sheen and tones. A second firing at 2300 degrees Fahrenheit melts the glazes, resulting in captivating patinas.
The finishing touches involve the addition of glass eyes, wire whiskers, bases, and meticulous color enhancements, further elevating the uniqueness of each individual sculpture. With their clay rendered water-tight during the process, many of the finished pieces can be safely displayed outdoors, as the colors are fade-resistant under the sun.
To view and acquire their exceptional artwork, visit the galleries where their sculptures are exhibited or explore their online presence. The mastery of Michael and Sumati Colpitts awaits, bringing a touch of artistry and tranquility to your surroundings.