Meet the talented Michael Simpson!

How does your typical day start Mick?

Well it has to be with a nice cup of tea, some breakfast, usually porridge, and then most importantly a good walk with my partner Jane.

Where do you like to go Walking?

We are very lucky where we live as we are so close to the Peak District. Our home takes us out to nearby Hough Wood which is beautiful.

So when you return, is it time to start work?

Yes!  It's off to the bottom of the garden, to my studio, tucked away under the chestnut trees.  It's a peaceful spot over-looking the pond with far reaching views of farmland and Moss Hill.

Do you listen to music or have the T.V on while working?

I like to listen to Radio 4, but I've recently discovered Audio books and in particular I really enjoy detective stories, such as Sherlock Holmes.

How long have you been sculpting?

All my life really.  It started with plasticine at school and the desire to make or create something has never left me.  I studied at Art College and then went onto Staffordshire Polytechnic. Straight after that, I started experimenting making my own work out of resin in the local cow-sheds right opposite to where I live.

It was at this time, in the mid-eighties, when I applied for my first job at Aynsley China, I got it and I haven't looked back since!  I've been in this industry for a long time now and I still enjoy the challenges it brings.

Which Artist's or Sculptor's work do you admire?

So many to choose from!  I always refer back to the old masters, such as Rodin and Bugatti, but I equally love the contemporary work of Jonathan Kenworthy and Nick Bibby.  

If you didn't have a career in sculpting, is there a profession you would have chosen instead?

No! I've been doing this all my life, although when I was very young I did quite fancy working for the Forestry Commission. 

I was also recommended 'dental nursing' as a career choice by school's career advisor! Needless to say I didn't take him up on the offer, although dentist's tools are very good for sculpting with.....

So what is your favourite tool?

Strangely enough it's a trusted dentist's tool I've been using since I started working at Aynsley's - it hasn't broken once!

Is there anything you have never sculpted or would like to make in the future?

If I had more time, I would love to paint landscapes.  I have such incredible views of the Peaks here and the weather can be really wild which makes for a very moody painting.  I like oils, but acrylics are my preference as they are quicker to work with, I don't have the patience to wait for paint to dry!