Prof. Michael Hough
Associate Professor of Art
Michael Hough is a collector. A collector of all things old.
Drawn to interesting metal from old machinery, Hough gravitates to circles and curves which he welds into large steel sculptures. Accumulating toys and ceramic insulators, he has created enlarged versions out of clay and stacked them into totem-like sculptures.
One of Hough’s favorite pieces is a large ceramic totem titled “One Lump or Two.” An eight-foot tall sculpture, it has a teapot for a base with cookies, sugar cubes, spoons, creamer and other objects associated with tea drinking stacked on top. The piece was made in response to a desire to compete with fellow artists in teapot shows. However, the sculpture was purchased before he had an opportunity to enter a competition.
Hough also incorporates his “treasures” into class projects. A project for the Intro to Sculpture class includes creating a series of abstractions from a natural object. He provides bleached bones, shells and seed pods. Students in Hand Built Ceramics make an enlargement of an everyday object with Hough providing small mechanical pieces such as water valves and car parts for inspiration.
Hough’s interest in art was sparked at an early age by his father who is a painter and musician. He watched his father teach during the academic year and work in his studio during the summer and was drawn to that balance.
Growing up in a community of 150 people, Hough likes the sense of community he finds at Bridgewater and the way a small college works together to help each other and accomplish goals.
“The students are eager to learn,” says Hough, “and willing to put the time in to produce good products.” He enjoys the moment a student “gets it” – when they make a discovery using skills he has taught them.
In celebration of 10 years of teaching at Bridgewater College, Hough invited his former students to display current and new work in an art exhibit. A number of them participated and were at the artists’ reception.
In addition to teaching, Hough is director of the Cleo Driver Miller Art Gallery at Bridgewater College. As a professional artist, he also exhibits his work all over the United States and has received numerous awards.
Hough received a B.A. in art and an M.A. in ceramic sculpture from California State University, Sacramento. He earned an M.F.A. in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design.