Michael Pietragalla received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in painting, from the Swain School of Design in 1972. After graduation, he found occupation as a carpenter, and in 1974, he started working as a set designer and builder for theatre groups throughout southern New England.
In 1977, Pietragalla relocated to the Boston area to attend classes at the Massachusetts College of Art. During that period, he taught photography and graphic design to inner city youth under the aegis of a federally funded social program. When the program came to an end, he turned to finish carpentry.
With training in the classical studio arts and increased experience as a carpenter, Pietragalla found that furniture design and production was a natural way to apply his hands, head and heart to his craft. Since 1997, he has been making custom designed furniture in studio in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His work is influenced by Asian design sensibilities and is in private collections across the US. He has exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions and group shows in New Bedford, as well as on Cape Cod, and in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Pietragalla is a member of The Furniture Society, a non-profit educational organization advancing the art of furniture and appreciation for the art form.