There are articles about exhibitions, her new sculpture practice and what to do to become a blacksmith on this blog!
My year has started brilliantly with plenty of enquiries and time spent designing.
I am currently working on a number of commissions which will take up most of the year ahead. In May 2018 I will be showing my work as part of London Craft Week at The Guy Goodfellow Collection London Showroom alongside Allyson MacDermott wallpapers and textiles.
Other work can be seen in exhibitions later this year in the Newbury area, details to follow.
Courses are already booked up for most of January and February with some places available for voucher holders over the Spring period. After that I will be running courses again in the autumn 2018 to allow me time to complete the commisions I have on.
If you would like to view sculpture or discuss a commission, please call or email me to arrange a suitable date and time.
My workshop is complete! It has been a huge job re-building the forge from scratch and replacing all the important parts like the bosh, tue iron, motor and fan as well as the chimney and hearth.
I was recently on BBC 'I Escaped To The Country' with some lovely clients (now friends) who came to me as part of the original series when they were looking to buy a property near Marlborough. The follow up programme involved them re-visiting my forge for a catch up.
There is a great feature on me in the 6th Issue of The Holborn Magazine released November 2016 written by Daphne Stylianou and captured in great photographs by Godfrey Hatton. This issue of the magazine celebrates 'female makers, creatives and entrepreneurs that inspire and amaze' including Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party, Brighton Gin makers, Cockpit Arts, Rosalind Griffin of Lee Sinclair Furniture and the women of Savil Row amongst other brilliant women. It's a great honour to be a part of such a group of women!
I am currently working on some panels for a Sir John Soane's house in Wiltshire which gives me an opprotunity to explore a more illustrative design process and incorporate the landscape themes of this year's sculpture work.
I just showed one sculptural piece in the Marlborough Open Studios Preview Exhibition in April this year, it was a piece in response to the main show sponsor objecting to my proposed new studio near Marlborough titled 'Untitled - 15/06441/FUL' You can read all the sad letters of objection and my response on Wiltshire Council website.
It is not uncommon for crafts people to face serious opposition to their work spaces, especially in rural areas. Finding suitable studio and working space is possibly the most difficult aspect of any craft business.
I have recently finished making 500 limited edition small seasonal greeting gifts for a local company Latchways Plc to give to their clients worldwide. The piece is on the theme of '@height' and has to be easily posted. The selected design is based on a copper feather floating to the ground supported by a stainless steel stem and base which can be packaged and posted in a tube. I have done a huge amount of fun tool making for this commission in order for me to produce 500 pieces effectively within the time frame.
@WithLoveProject have just published the first of their feature articales about crafts men and wwomen who are passionate about their trade. They visited me earlier this year as part of their road trip and you can see the fantastic results in photographis and videa form here. They found me via Twitter! With Love Project
I have been featured in a super on-line magazine Women In Trade which you can read on line here or you can purchase a PDF version for £3.25 Women In Trade Magazine Summer 2015 British Designers Rock Issue
Women in Trade Magazine is a stylish independent publication. The first tradeswomen-focused magazine in the UK; it simply exists to enrich lives with articles covering wellbeing, life, spotlight, coaching, self & interviews with inspirational women.
I have been finishing the two decorative panels for new student accommadation in Oxford based on brain neurons! Installed in early December 2014 at Osney Lane, Oxford.
I have recently finished a beautiful 'Fern Gate' for private clients and a gate for a water mill.
Just in case you didn't catch it, I was the 'Mystery Guest' on Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on 26th September. It was a great opportunity to talk about the craft of blacksmithing and where you can learn blacksmithing. I was lucky to be able to enthuse about my craft on national radio and was delighted that Chris appeared to have a genuine interest in what I had to say.
I have just installed my large wall mounted commission for A2Dominion in Oxford.
This piece is my interpretation of the River Isis wrapping around the outside of a complex gate house to new student accomodation just off Cowley Road.
I have just returned from a fabulous two week artist in residence project at Ark School JHQ Rheindahlen, Germany. This amazing project happened through a lot of commitment and organisation by the school and military and you can read all about it on my blog!
October 2012 - Thank you Swindon Round Table for buying one of my snails to raise money for The Childrens Liver Disease Foundation when you came for a talk and demo at the workshop!
August/September 2012Horspath Driftway Imprint sculpture is now installed at The Slade, on the corner of Blackstock Close and Horspath Driftway, Headington in Oxford! Pop along and see how many objects you recognise in the bronze casting.
Melissa is now working on the bronze wheel imprint for Oxford City Council. Forging 40 x 20mm bars into tapered spokes is pushing the 1938 Pattinson Bros. spring hammer to its max!
October 2011The piece Melissa has been working on is a complex glass topped table for a local client. The table has a forged base with pedestal legs and a flowing design that supports the weight of the glass top.
World Forging Championships, Stia, Italy. 1-4 September 2011
Representing the UK on behalf of The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths who funded the trip, Melissa was part of the only all woman team, including Wendy Alford of Norfolk and Michelle Parker of Worcestershire. The team were also supported by The Jinny Quinnell Memorial Trust.
They started forging on the first night of the biennial celebration of blacksmithing in temperatures of over 45°C next to the forges, the team had 3 hours to produce a completed piece of traditional forging along the theme of ‘Evolution’ working in front of the massive crowds that had gathered for the opening live forging event.
More information about this event can be found at: www.comune.stia.ar.it/biennaleferro/eng