The son of a sheet metal worker and fabricator, Michael McCarthy has been interested in metal sculpture from his earliest age. At age 12, a family friend who worked as a farrier exposed Michael to the experience of blacksmithing. In High School, Michael participated in a group that built, maintained and worked a forge. Upon graduation, Michael toured the country to study with smiths. Michael has continued pursuing experience based processes with trips to Asia, Africa and Europe throughout his career. In 1996, Michael opened his own forge in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. He focused on art until 1998, whereupon he began an apprenticeship with Paul Spaulding at The Farmers Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Michael's exposure to the historic record shifted his focus to pre- industrial methods of forging. After a three year apprenticeship, Michael took over the shop. In 2003 he founded Early Iron, an international group devoted to the study of bloomery smelting. In 2008, Michael left the museum and started a metal fabrication, art studio and blacksmith shop in the Mohawk Valley.