A native of eastern Pennsylvania, Melody Ellis initially studied ceramics at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland before earning her BFA at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Ellis continued her education through apprenticeships at Moravian Pottery and Tileworks in Doylestown, PA, where she discovered her love of earthenware and low-fire surfaces, and at the Fabric Workshop & Museum in Philadelphia, PA. While living in Philadelphia, she also held positions at the Clay Studio, an international ceramics art center, and Moore College of Art and Design. Now living in Saratoga Springs, NY, she works as a studio artist, exhibiting nationwide. Ellis’s expressive figures, toys and hand-carved tile can be found in private and corporate collections and numerous publications.
I utilize color, pattern and mixed media to create earthenware toys and tile mosaics. The figure, both human and animal, offers endless subject matter to explore in both two and three dimensions.
Posture and the potential for movement in my sculptures are used to express mood and pique curiosity. These pieces are inspired in part by 19th century dolls, automata, and wheeled or balancing toys. I have emulated their movements and intricacies hoping to convey the simultaneous mystery, joy and menace these toys often carry as they age.
My tilework reflects an interest in historical narrative art forms such as Italian majolica and medieval stained glass. I would like to evoke a sense of both history and wonder through story and surface. Puppet theater, sideshow, and morality tales all offer rich source material for my work in clay.