Beachroad meet up with ceramicist Michael Rice a Northern Irishman based in Dubai. He has a Degree in Fine Craft Design, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Art and Design), and a Masters Degree in Multi Disciplinary Design, all from the University of Ulster. 'When looking at a shell on the beach, a stone made beautiful by the endless caress of the tide, objects, forms, things created over time by the earth, I am awed by the skill of nature. I have longed to be able to make things that look as natural as if nature had made them, to create objects that resonate with a timeless quality, with a feeling of a genesis beyond the constructed and manufactured. My current work evolves from the work I made as a degree student and although my experiments with terra sigillata stem from my time as a postgraduate I am still primarily concerned with form, beauty and symmetry. At present the forms are curvaceous and full and although they are influenced by classical pottery I feel they are highly contemporary.
NAME? // Michael Rice.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Dodgem Car assistant in an amusement centre when I was 12.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Associate Professor of Sculpture.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // My wife, Zahra.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Not a big fan of sharks, saw Jaws at age 9 and have been traumatised ever since!
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // My Dad coming back from London with a pirate hat for me when I was around 2.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // My Dad, he was a very gentle and thoughtful man, I try to be like him, sometimes I succeed.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // Skydiving session for my wife at Skydive Dubai for her birthday.
IF YOU WERE 80 YEARS OLD, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN? // Always go with your heart, but listen to the advice of others too.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Being stubborn.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Being flaky.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR ROLE IN A MOVIE? // Brendon Gleeson.
FAVOURITE MUSIC? // Rediscovering Manchester at the moment - New Order, The Smiths, Happy Mondays and Stone Roses.
LAST RECORD YOU BOUGHT? // Ryuichi Sakamoto - Best of.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // 1984 - George Orwell.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Nausea - Jean Paul Sartre.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // The work of other ceramicists, artists and designers.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // I had pneumonia in Bangkok in 1998, I was alone and it was very scary.
FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Barcelona, but love traveling and lots of other places too.
LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Don't have one, have enjoyed everywhere I've been.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Sleep, or chilling in bed online.
WHY DUBAI? // Been here for 5 years, love it, so many opportunities and a great place to live.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // I run regularly and do some cross-fit from time to time.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Urban.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs, but like cats too.
COFFEE OR TEA? // Coffee.
WHAT YOU MAKES YOU LAUGH? // Irish wit.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? // Bills.
YOUR MESSAGE? // Be a best friend to yourself.