"I think the most exciting part of design is the inspiration in which it comes from. In our busy modern world, it is so easy to overlook the beauty that naturally occurs all around us. A simple leaf, the reflection of lights on a puddle of water. The way a building can look completely different from night to day with the changing direction of the sun. That is my passion, giving people a new vision, enabling them to see the everyday with a new set of eyes."
"The more I draw and sketch, the more photographs I take, the more travel and research I do, the more inspired I feel to design. The spark of inspiration, the sorting of ideas and the ultimate excitement of creation, from conception to completion, this is the passion I live for as an artist. I feel blessed to have an outlet that allows me to feel alive and inspired everyday, to take the time and look at the world in a new way."
It's no wonder that Melissa has the desire to create. From very early beginnings, her great grandfather, a sculptor specializing in brass, moved his wife and children from England to Canada. He established a brass foundry in St. George, Ontario designing work that was highly acclaimed nationwide. Her mother, an accomplished painter, began her career in ceramics when Melissa was a young toddler. "As a child, I remember hunting through ceramics studios and potters workshops, always searching for that special piece to take home and work on. Once clay gets in your bones, you can never turn away from it." At an early age Melissa had aspirations of becoming an architect. Spare time was always spent sketching houses and buildings, paying special attention to architectural details and embellishments.
At the age of 19, her first trip abroad was to spend a summer in Germany. Melissa often reflects back to that trip as a pivotal point in her life. Traveling to Europe was a dream come true. Seeing the architecture up close, walking the corridors of castles, the cobbled streets of small towns, sharing in the absolute beauty of history she says, was one of the most influential moments in her life.
Melissa's first foray into designing began when her parents' company grew from a small hobby shop to a full design studio for high end table top and furniture accessories. During this time Melissa was attending design college. While studying, she freelanced as a prop stylist for commercial photographers as well as designing lines for her family's ceramics company.
The design work soon took over and became a full time passion for Melissa. The only restriction that Melissa found was the medium that she was working within. "Ceramics has a very limited capacity from a design standpoint. One always has to be concerned with undercuts, casting and the colour limitations of ceramic glazes in commercial applications. I had always felt hindered by these processes."
In 2001, Melissa met Spencer Thackray. In a small studio, using predominately resin and plaster, Spencer was working closely with interior designers creating custom installations for commercial and residential applications. Seeing one another’s work, Melissa and Spencer decided to combine their creative talents. As the creative process began to unfold with this new found partnership, the evolution began. With limitless design possibilities, combined with a compilation of photographs and sketches of Melissa's travels throughout Europe, this new medium enabled her to create an assemblage of work with reflection to her past and present.
Throughout the past 5 years Melissa, Spencer and a very skilled team of artisans have created a stunning collection of over 300 original works of art. Mel V continues to release inspired wall art collections of stunning beauty and detail. Her work can be found gracing the homes of famous fashion designers, actors, galleries, and all those with an appreciation of fine art and history.
"As an artist, woman, mother and partner, I draw on all of these strengths to keep my life real. Creating sculptural wall art tiles and providing inspiration are only one facet of my life, taking the time to enjoy every aspect of what life provides us, is where the real passion comes in."