Profile picture of Michael B. Hays
  • Columbus, OH, USA

I use traditional forming and construction methods to fashion items that are contemporary solutions to the historical forms of holloware and dinning utensils. Through the investigation of form and volume I try to impart upon each piece a monumental sculptural and architectonic quality while maintaining a satisfying human-scaled functionality.  My work draws inspiration from the intersection of the restrained architectural classicism of Biedermeier design of the mid-nineteenth century Germany and the meticulous functionality of industrial products of the Bauhaus during the 1920’s and 30’s.  By attempting to marry the minimalist, utilitarian forms of the latter with the sophistication of design of the former, I hope to achieve in my work the combining of the pure functionality of one with the elegance of form of the other.  My work is a balance of striving to fashion items that are elegantly playful while possessing a visually pleasing functionality.

After graduating from Ohio State University with a B.A. in Anthropology in 2000 I took up silversmithing as a hobby at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, studying under Mary Hallam Pearse.  In 2005 I co-curated with my wife, Carol Boram-Hays, the exhibition Bringing Modernism Home: Ohio Decorative Art 1890-1960 for the Columbus Museum of Art.  Over the last ten years I have exhibited my work throughout the U.S., and have received numerous awards, including the Rio Grande Jewelry Award in 2008, recognition from the Ohio Arts Council, and was awarded the Dresden Germany Art Residency from the Greater Columbus Arts Council in 2011.  I have had pieces published in several books on contemporary metalworking, and have work in the permanent collection of the Ohio Crafts Museum in Columbus, Ohio.

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.