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MICHAEL JOY is a conceptual artist, sculptor, master mold maker, author, and founder of The Chicago School of Mold Making & Casting for the Arts.
Shortly after graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, Michael's skills quickly evolved when he founded a sculptural fabrication studio where he undertook a wide variety of commercial projects. Recognized for his commitment to superior craftsmanship, his commissioned works range from monument restoration to modifying the master model of the Oscar statuette for the Academy of Motion Pictures.
Over the past 25 years, Michael has accumulated a wealth of technical skills encompassing several industries. He is proficient in a wide range of industrial mold making techniques, including those used for casting in clay (ceramic), resin, bronze, ornamental plaster for applications in architectural restoration, photographic models/props, museum work, confectionery and other food-related mediums. Most recently, Michael’s skills have been applied in medicine, dental work and other industrial sciences.
In addition to commercial applications of mold making and casting, Michael produces his own art that is based upon playful themes and imagery expressed in a unique, surrealistic style that elevates industrial mold making to a fine art form. His personal art includes sculpture, wall art, line castings, fine art prints, photo collage, and commissioned pieces.
Chicago School of Mold Making & Chicago Culinary FX
Michael’s mold making skills found new expression in the culinary field thanks to many innovative chefs around the globe. Developing specialized molding techniques and products for the food industry led Michael to founding The Chicago School of Mold Making in 2002 with Beatrice Schneider. Since then, they have developed over 150 new products never before seen in the culinary industry as well as partnered in hundreds of notable collaborations with world renowned chefs and companies including:
Executive Chef Curtis Duffy, Grace
Executive Chef Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
Master Chef Rudolph van Veen, Lady Gaga sculpture
Chefs Albert & Ferran Adria, El Bulli
Chef Laurent Gras, L20
Chef Jose Andres, Think Food Group
In 2003, Michael was invited to teach at the World Pastry Forum and has since taught classes and workshops at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art. His skills have been used to assist many chefs and teams win awards in numerous competitions around the world, including the U.S. and World Pastry Team Championships, U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition, Pastry and Baking Team Championships, World Chocolate Masters, Culinary Olympics, Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, Patis France, National Dessert Championship, Bocuse d’Or, and the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (best craftsman).
Michael is also the co-founder of Pastry Live, a national pastry competition. Additionally, Michael is a collaborator and host to the three-time Emmy award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition. He has been featured on the cover of Pastry Art and Design, had his work profiled in the New York Times, has appeared on the Food Network, and was recently featured in Crain's Business Journal. Michael has been honored as the 143rd Distinguished Visiting Chef at two of Johnson & Wales University campuses (Rhode Island & Charlotte, NC) for his contributions to the culinary field. In the summer of 2013, he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the American Culinary Federation.
Michael has been a regular contributor to several trade publications, including Pastry’s Best magazine, Dessert Professional, and Pasticceria Internazionale. He is the author of Confectionery Art Casting; Silicone Mold Making for the Pastry Chef and is currently working on his second instructional book. He continues to produce custom molds for a wide variety of culinary and non-culinary customers through his company Chicago Culinary FX, and is creating a new series of fine art photo collages utilizing vintage photography.