Michael Aram is an award-winning American Armenian artist who has dedicated his career to craft-based design. Inspired by a trip to India at age 25, he established a second home and studio there, where he continues to draw creative inspiration today.
Trained as a painter, sculptor, and art historian, Michael has neatly applied his diverse background to the decorative arts. Lyrical and often witty, his work encompasses a wide range of media and reveals a rich and variant source of inspiration – nature, mythology, narrative storytelling, and purified form. Michael’s work is also a celebration of craft and age-old hand working traditions. It is the enduring fusion of these ideals – originality, narrative, and craftsmanship – that has become the hallmark of this gifted artist.
Fascinated with the richness of the living crafts tradition which he discovered on his first trip to Delhi, Michael would seek out craftsmen in the old city by listening for the sound of metal being beaten and by searching for the aroma of baked molasses, a signal of the sand casting process. The artisans he encountered were making ordinary objects such as buckets, shovels, and scissors, but for Michael, their traditional techniques were extraordinary. Michael spent hours observing artisans as they made things the same way families had made them for centuries. Touched by the talent and humility of these gifted artisans, Michael set up a studio in India where he has created his work for over 30 years. Today, over 200 artisans work alongside him in his workshop where the same creative interaction between artist and artisan remains the source of every object that Michael makes.
Michael is highly inspired by his surroundings and often makes sculptures of objects that might otherwise be overlooked in the everyday. Nature is his biggest muse, as is the handmade process. His work combines the imperfections innate in the handmade process with the perfectly imperfect beauty of nature to create objects that reflect humanity. Many of his pieces are ingrained with a rich storyline, inherent symbolism, and deep-rooted meaning. Sometimes his work is simply an exploration and celebration of the handmade process.