September 08, 2014

Maker's Mark Bios: Michael Griffin

At Portland Growler Company we partner with studios that care about nurturing their employees creative passions. Our ceramic production partner, Mudshark Studios exemplifies this sort of partnership. The creative endeavors, experience and contributions of each member of the team that produces our growlers can be seen in each and every growler they make. Take a look at the bottom of your growler to see the initials of that growler's maker; maker's marks are our way of helping you put a face with a name and show you what true handcrafted quality means to us. We recently visited with our team at Mudshark and we asked each artist the same questions about life, beer, and art and we'll be introducing you to them here.

Meet Michael Griffin. Michael glazes the growlers once they've been bisqued. While you won't find his initials on the bottom of your growler, chances are pretty good he was responsible for the glazing of it. Co-owner Brett Binford reflects on how Michael came to work for the company:

"Ceramic artist and friend, Richard Brandt, was his teacher and brought him by the studio for a tour. We got to talking and I realized that I also knew Michael's high school teacher from my days working at Georgie's ceramic supplier. I used to sell her clay. It was a fun reminder of just how small the Portland community really is."

Name: Michael Griffin  

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Education/Life Experience: I went to Portland State University for mechanical engineering, computer science and then I switched to environmental science… and then art. I realized I was still figuring it out so I put that on hold for a bit.

How did you get started at Mudshark?   I heard about Mudshark through a friend and came to tour the studio just as Chris and Brett were moving into our current studio location. They were unloading a U-haul, so I offered to help; by the end of the conversation Brett offered me a job here.

What’s Your Favorite Beer or Beverage to Fill Your Growler with?

I like IPA’s of some sort. Well, I like all beers but definitely IPA is my number one. Barley Brown’s Chocolate Stout is my favorite, but Lagunitas Hop Stoopid is pretty good too, and stupidly hoppy. Ha ha.


Why do you like working in clay? It’s technical but also very creative. It’s a good balance between the two. I like that I have to balance many variables and problem solve while maintaining that creative thought process.


Favorite Local Haunt (Food or bar)? Tuk Tuk on Freemont. Super duper good Thai food and the manager Tony is way cool. We might go to see a blazers game together.


If you could share a growler fill with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be and why?

Einstein. I have a lot  of questions for him on general relativity, quantum physics and his personal life. He was friend’s with German chemist Fritz Haber during the first world war. Haber was responsible for creating chlorine gas and and other poisonous gasses used in the war. Einstein was morally opposed to using those gasses, so I’d be interested to hear his thoughts on that. He tried to get a petition signed by a bunch of scientists to prevent it, but failed.