Michael Anderson grew up south of Portland, Oregon exploring the farm country of the Willamette Valley. After receiving his degree in elementary education at Boise State University, he taught ceramics in junior high school in Blackfoot, Idaho. There he met Virginia Floyd of Kodiak, Alaska. In 1982 they married and moved to Cordova, Alaska where Anderson began doing pen and inks for Fathom Publishing.
In 1992, he received a One Percent for Art commission to conduct an indoor marine field trip for the students of Mt. Eccles Elementary School in Cordova. That first concept has led to relief tile commissions for the state ferry M/V Kennicott, University of Alaska Fairbanks, numerous public schools in Alaska and a purchase by the Valdez Museum. He has had solo shows in Seward, Kodiak, Valdez and Cordova. Currently his work is split between relief tile of marine environments and functional stoneware decorated with images from the maritime environment.