Michael is a British designer who grew up in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales.
He spent his early years in the quintessentially, coastal town of Barry. It’s Victorian gardens, fallow grounds, derelict buildings and sprawling docklands are all icons of tired beach towns, but Michael was hugely inspired by how nature thrived in these environments. Disused buildings were bustling with mosses, little ferns, birds’ nests and Buddleia shrubs. Whilst the Teasel-edged, dark waters of the dockland were home to lonely jelly fish and dragon flies.
This unusual source of inspiration has formed a unique and personal approach to design. Michael looks at every project as an exploration, bringing attention to hidden details and the beauty of the unusual.
Complex patterns are richly layered with every aspect of plant life, from summer dust and pollen to broken stems and billowing flower heads. They are a fantasy of flora and fauna, capturing a perfect, bursting-with-life moment. Unexpected ingredients are a signature trademark in Michael’s designs. Earth, soil, fire, crystals and water make an appearance in his latest collections and it is the inclusion of hidden insects and animals that capture the imagination.
Alongside complexity, Michael has a great sense of simplicity and minimalism as an antithesis to the chimera of the chinoiserie. He is an award winning fine artist whose work is clean, shear and cerebral. Focusing on space and quality of line, his drawings have been described as ‘haunting’.
He has a long-standing love of Scandinavia and has travelled to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland seeking an insight into how heritage and story has inspired very contemporary design. The Scandinavian appreciation of light and colour and the decorative tendencies of his other country of interest, Japan, can be seen in his craft.
Michael undertook his first degree at Winchester School of Art, where he gained several awards from Sanderson, Marks & Spencer and the RSA for his hand-drawn designs. This led to his acceptance to the Royal College of Art where he learnt about style, complexity and bravery. After his Masters degree, Michael went on to work for Jean Paul Gaultier, Hugo Boss and Antonio Marras while based in Italy. Soon upon his return to Britain his talent was spotted by Liberty with whom he made several fabric ranges.<
Near to London, Wiltshire, with all of its prehistoric monuments, mediaeval forests and big skies is Michael’s new home. He walks his Jack Russell, Audrey, every day and can visualise new designs from every hedgerow and every meadow that surrounds his garden studio.
Michael’s passion for sharp detail and complex natural structure originates from his specific goal of recreating undeniable beauty. His designs capture nature in its most spectacular moments and are bursting with life to make highly desirable and coveted design works.
His chinoiseries are packed with hidden insects and animals, maybe a stick insect, sometimes a lizard, always a surprise. They create dramatic interior backdrops, and transpose beautifully onto fabrics for fashion pieces, branding designs and upholstery. All designs start with a real plant or flower and each one is nurtured as though from a seed to blossom into flawless examples of splendor with universal appeal. There are no finer examples of this kind of digital designing.
Michael’s talents then combine fine art with design in his astonishing trompe l’oeil designs that play with what is real and what is not. Hand-drawn objet d’art seem to sit upon the surface through clever use of shadow and technical superiority. Conversational pieces that have become design classics with global appeal and success.
"I take inspiration form the weird and the wonderful, then with a little bit of imagination, create designs that people can fall in love with. I’m creating a love affair with pattern."