Michael Schael in French workshop throwing Vase a Pied
Michael Schael in French workshop throwing Vase a Pied

I realized early on that I was not the sort for working a 9 to 5 job.  I needed to work with my hands. I attended university originally planning to study to landscape architecture /ornamental horticulture.  After 2 years, a shift occurred and I began to use my hands in a very different way. Rather than switch schools, I switched my major and eventually received a Masters in  Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in working with the deaf. For the next 5 years I worked as a counselor and interpreter. 

Yet I still needed to play in the mud.

After several years of playing at potting, I decided to really give it a go. I voyaged to Europe hoping to support myself during my trip. Six years later and returning to the States,  I had become a journeyman potter. All told, I had worked in over a dozen different workshops in 4 countries; for periods of a several weeks to 8 months.