Michelle from Atelier MA throwing a bowl on the wheel

About me

Hi, my name is Michelle Ma. I am a ceramic artist and founder of Atelier MA, a pottery studio and creative space located in the heart of Montreal.

My passion for pottery is rooted in my childhood in rural China, where I grew up in a house made from bricks crafted by my father in his own studio. Surrounding our home was my mother’s garden which was also the playground where I learned to love everything about plants and nature. Having left my family at 18 to pursue a career in hairstyling, I eventually followed my heart to the other side of the world and made a home for myself in Montreal, Canada.

After more than two decades working in some of the city’s trendiest hair salons, I started to reconnect with my roots, rediscovering my true calling in clay work, which became a passion and eventually the foundation of my life. Over the years, I travelled back to China frequently to expand my knowledge of ceramics and to refine my skills in such specialties as zisha, porcelain and kintsugi, to name just a few.

Among other achievements, I have designed and produced exclusive dinnerware for local restaurants and lifestyle retailers.

In 2013, I created Atelier MA where I work but also share my passion with others, from beginners who are simply curious to learn about clay, to experienced ceramicists looking for an inspiring space to expand their skills and creativity.

Our shop inside the atelier

About my work

My design philosophy is that every object should be both functional and beautiful, while being as close to nature as possible. As a result, my designs feature minimalist shapes and raw textures. Whether it is a dish, teapot, jar, vase or decorative item, each of my signature creations is meant to be used every day, but also cherished for a lifetime.

I create exclusive designs and produce each piece in my studio, including entire dinnerware sets for restaurants and individual creations for the home.

Whether they are stoneware or porcelain, all pieces are high-fired and therefore safe for the oven and dishwasher.

The plant-filled pottery studio where we teach

About the studio

In addition to being my work space where I design and produce my pieces, Atelier MA is a creative oasis for anyone to come and learn about ceramics, from beginners seeking basic knowledge to advanced learners looking to perfect their skills. Filled with hundreds of beautiful plants, the studio is like an urban jungle. It is also a meditative space where you can slow down, leave the world behind and relax while playing with clay.

Every moment spent working with clay is a happy moment, which is best shared with family, friends or even workmates. This is why Atelier MA is home to a community of like-minded people who enjoy discussing our love of pottery, design, shapes, color and techniques, but also talking about other passions such as plants, food and the culinary arts.