Melissa Mead is an American born New Zealand potter. After being mostly self-taught for 10 years she has immersed herself in the Auckland Ceramics Community. Through the generosity of some of the best New Zealand potters she has learned techniques from coiled forms to printing on clay. Melissa has experience with a multitude of firing methods, glaze theory and surface decoration. She draws inspiration from the inspiring Aotearoa and our connections to one another. While she mostly creates functional wheel thrown pottery it is often altered and refined with handbuilding. Melissa works in two clay worlds – the rich dark raw clays fired in atmospheric conditions and the more contemporary translucent colours on fine clays fired in oxidation.
My approach as a tutor is to share clay at all levels. The clay is itself of nature – the material of the earth – a tutor in its own right. We begin a conversation with this natural material and I hope to foster the student’s tactile and visceral fluency with clay. Skills and techniques are shared with students so they are supported in achieving their highest potential. Each term begins with a general plan and students are encouraged and guided in making as well as glazing their forms