As I read the other author profiles, I feel like I’ve joined a rehab group………..Hello, my name is Michela Verani and I’m a metal clay addict. Or maybe a pusher, as I teach. To support my habit, I sell little bags of a very addicting substance and have addicted many unsuspecting students who’ve come into my sphere of influence. My life is almost divided into two eras, Before Clay and After Clay. Finding metal clay was an epiphany for me, I love it. However, my family thinks an intervention is in order.
I started out as an Arts and Crafts Major with a speciality in metal smithing. After a few years, I switched to my second love plants and botany, graduating with a BS in Plant Science. Out of college, I married, divorced, worked in landscaping, started a herb/dried flower business, raised dairry goats and started a medical transcription service. Throughout all of this I continued “making.” I did decorative painting, silver smithing, beading, whatever medium called to me at the time. In 1995 I read an article in Ornament Magazine on PMC (I still have that magazine). The possibilities of a clay form of silver fascinated me. It took a few years, but I finally found an instructor, took a number of classes and my world changed.
I closed the transcription service. I got my Art Clay Level 1, then Senior certification and began teaching metal clay and selling at local galleries. I joined the Master’s Registry and have attained Level III. Recently, I certified with Rio Rewards and juried into the League of NH Craftsmen. I’ve been honored to have my work selected for the last two PMC Annuals and other publications, as well as winning a number of awards.
I live and work in Londonderry, New Hampshire on an odd, little, dead-end dirt road with my dog Tucker Tugswell and three cats, Cassie, Chaos and Yang. New visitors to my studio usually call to ask if they’ve gotten lost. I am very fortunate to live here, while 15 minutes from New Hampshire’s largest city (not saying a lot here), I am surrounded by hundreds of acres of undeveloped woodland. Tucker and I take daily walks in the woods, no matter the weather. The woods, my gardens and their inhabitants form the major inspiration for my work.
Currently I teach metal clay throughout New England, including Haystack, The League of NH Craftsmen Craft Center and the Fuller Craft Museum, as well as being the metal clay instructor for Metalwerx. I am the chapter leader for Greater Boston Metal Clay, a wonderful group of fellow addicts. If you’re in our area, please join us.