Mike Roche is the Feet of Clay Artist in Resident for 2014-15. He teaches the Tuesday morning class at Feet of Clay.
Mike Roche is a ceramic artist originally from the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts. As an adolescent, Roche studied oil painting with accomplished landscape artist Peter Roux, while attending high school where he studied Advertising Art and Design. After graduating high school, he decided to pursue a bachelor degree from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with the intention of concentrating in painting. During his freshman year, he took his first course in ceramic hand-building and fell deeply in love with the mediums endless possibilities. Being able to create three dimensional forms and then apply his painterly sensibilities to those forms was an irresistible and welcomed challenge for him. During his last year at Mass Art, he had the good fortune of meet world renowned ceramic artist Jun Kaneko, who after seeing Roche’s thesis show, invited him to work as his assistant in his Omaha Nebraska studio. Over the next four years, Roche worked for Kaneko taking part in every operation necessary to run the expansive and prolific studio. Most notably, he fabricated over forty of Jun’s ceramic sculptures ranging from 2‘ to over 11‘ tall. He had the honor and pleasure of designing Kaneko’s newest and largest kiln to date, which can accommodate several 11’ sculptures at one time. Roche would put in over forty hours a week of back breaking work in Kaneko’s studio, but somehow still made time for his own personal studio practice. He participated in many local gallery shows during his time in Omaha. In 2012, Roche received a full scholarship from the University of Delaware to pursue his graduate degree in ceramics. During his time in Delaware, Roche not only continued to explore the scale of his sculptures but also evolve the complexity of his surface treatments on the forms. He also had the responsibility of teaching several courses and was afforded the opportunity to design his own curiculum. After obtaining his graduate degree, Roche moved back to Massachusetts to reconnect with his roots and become involved with the local clay community that had so greatly influenced and inspired his current journey as a contemporary ceramic artist.