Michel Mathieu was born in 1956 in Tulette in the Drôme Provençale. He couldn't wait to leave school and soon became a cellarman, working in the wine business in his beloved Côtes du Rhône. At the same time he took to pottery and discovered his passion for the earth was as strong as love of its vinyards.In 1988 he quit the wine trade to throw himself completely into his art. And it wasn't long after that when he created the first of his cats which made his reputation. These popular felines, made from refractory clay, secured Michel's standing, first in Provence and later around France and beyond.After years of toil Michel was invited to join the Maison des artistes' in 2003. He withdrew from pottery to concentrate on his animals, sculpture, busts and more recently, giant jars.But cats are still his favourite animal.