Michael Connolly is a Hawaii based artist and was raised on the Island of Oahu. His work is inspired by volcanic activity and hot rod flames. Connolly captures three types of lava, pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy), a’a (ah ah) and pillow lava. Pahoehoe is smooth and dense, and forms in large areas resembling flat parking lots with smooth bumps. A’a on the other hand, forms individual rocks on the surface that are bombastic, porous, and jagged. These rocks are so sharp that they're known to cut up heavy duty boots. In addition, pillow lava is created by direct exposure, pressure, and cooler temperatures of the ocean causing pillow like forms to develop. Michael remembers collecting “Hot Wheels” cars during childhood and always favored those with Hot Rod flames, which radiates a powerful allure that at the same time is both beautiful and dangerous, much like the flames of Kīlauea. Michael has attended ceramic workshops locally and abroad exposing him to many talented artists and new ways of making. Much of his studio experience was obtained at Leeward Community College as a studio technician, where he later received the “outstanding student employee” award. Recently, his work and efforts have been recognized by the University of Hawaii Department of Art faculty and was presented the “Ceramic Faculty Book” award, 2016.
Image provided by Joel Gaspar