Dorothy Michell


Do Michell’s stoneware and earthenware beads are individually made by hand, glazed and fired separately and suspended on wires. Each bead is unique, some of the shapes are irregular and the colours may vary from one side to another. The beads are threaded onto a leather string, which is easily adjusted by two slip knots.

Small manufactured beads are used to bring out a colour or add shape to the necklace. Some of the necklaces are inspired by the muted colours of frescoes and the paintings of Pierra della Francesco, others are inspired by Clarisse Cliffe and the jazz colours of Kandinsky.


Some of Dorothy’s earliest memories are of digging up clay and squishing it into shapes encouraged by her artist mother who also encouraged her to have a sketch book from an early age. She was not, however, allowed to follow a career in art. At that time it was considered too risky, and after a spell in France she trained as a physiotherapist. She had a career as a Paediatric Physiotherapist and brought up three children. Then, after a foundation course at the ‘City Lit’ institution in London, was accepted by Brighton School of Art in 2000 to do a 3yr BA (Hons) .

Dorothy’s husband was brought up in Dorset and as a family they visited Purbeck regularly for 40 years. Initially they rented a cottage in Worth Matravers, then owned one, and finally moved to the village permanently.

She sculpts in stone and in ceramics.
Her sculpture reflects her love of the Purbeck area, the rhythms of the landscape and the presence of the sea. The fine porcelain vessels are inspired by the crashing of the waves against the shore. They are transluscent and look fragile but have been fired to 1220 degrees C. Whilst testing glazes she started making beads and this allowed her to indulge in her love of colour. Each ceramic bead is made individually, biscuit fired then glazed and fired again. The colours are inspired by the paintings of Piero della Francesco, Khandinsky, Clarisse Cliffe and others. Each necklace is unique.

[sws_2_column title=”Stone sculpture in”] Purbeck stone – Purbeck Portland, Purbeck marble, Spangle and Cliff stone.
Somerset Marle
Italian marble
Bath Stone
Lecce Italian limestone
[/sws_2_column] [sws_2_columns_last title=”Work has been exhibited at”] National Open Exhibition of ‘Tactile Art’ held at Otter Gallery, University of Chichester.
London – Brick lane
Brighton – Brighton Festival
Chichester – The Arts centre
Bognor Regis – Gallery
Havant – The Havant Arts Centre
Wareham – Gallery
Walberton – The Forge Gallery
Dorset Art Week
Purbeck Art Week
Swanage – L’Artishe gallery