During his time in university, Michael Vangstad stumbled into the world of pottery almost by accident. He was born and raised in Ham Lake, Minnesota, and pursued degrees in history and social studies education at Bethel University in St. Paul. Needing to fulfill an art elective, Ceramics 101 seemed like as good a choice as any, and so his foray into pottery began. Due in equal parts to the surrounding influences of his teacher Kirk Freeman and his ceramics peers, Michael developed a passion for clay and quickly discovered he had been missing out on the Midwest U.S. pottery scene in which he grew up. Since then, Michael has pursued pottery as an art form, a hobby, and a job. He primarily works with stoneware clays and attempts to create pottery that is functionally sound, interesting to behold, and with enough depth to allow fresh discoveries upon each use. Due to this, much of his completed work is finished in light slips and clear glazes to allow the character of the clay hidden underneath to shine through.