Homegirl London pays homage to Melody Rose. Melanie Roseveare is the designer making quirky and surreal upcycled vintage ceramics. She transforms forgotten tableware pieces into beautiful collectable treasures by applying her own unique and exquisite designs. Her work includes skulls, skeletons, butterflies and dragonflies adorning dainty little cups and saucers, elegant tea and coffee pots, jugs, plates and bowls. Melanie’s style fuses classic tableware with contemporary designs to give them a new lease of life. Originally from Canada, Melanie moved to London in her early 20s, looking for the bright lights, big city and less snow. She soon found herself yearning to be a full-time artist. I caught up with Melanie to ask a few questions …
Q: Tell me about your design background
A: I wanted to be a painter when I was growing up. Then I moved to London and began working, first with an international wine and spirits company, travelling and working all over the world with them and then on a freelance basis. I learnt a huge amount working on such interesting projects but I yearned to work as an artist, so during this time I also continued making and learning, taking a series of part-time courses and classes at places such as Chelsea School of Art, Heatherleys and open studios at Camden Arts Centre.
Q: What inspired you to set up your own business?
A: I spent a number of years working on my designs and developing my ideas before finally taking the plunge and working full time on Melody Rose, which I launched in 2011. It felt like a natural progression as I already had business experience from my freelance work and I haven’t looked back.
Q: What inspires your designs?
A: I take my inspiration from a mix of everyday things around me. I can be inspired by anything from a snippet of overheard conversation, a song on the radio or a view from the train window.
Melanie Roseveare of Melody Rose
Q: Describe your design style.
A: I like to make pieces that have humour and are playful, but with an edge. I always liked the theatrical style of the Baroque period and I was very influenced by surrealist painters when I was young. I like to think I can capture those feelings on my pieces.
Q: Tell me about your collections.
A: There are three collections – ‘Rock and Roll’ which is tasteful, but with an edge for those who love the wildlife – think skulls, pin-up girls and Mexico’s Day of the Dead. ‘Urban Nature’ is for the nature-loving city and country dweller, this line includes butterflies, eagles, vultures and dragonflies. Finally, there’s ‘Modern SurRealist’ which is inspired by a love of surrealism, infused with a modern twist, these designs are fun, eccentric and beautiful.
Pieces from the Rock and Roll Collection by Melody Rose
Pieces from the Urban Nature Collection by Melody Rose
Pieces from the Modern SurRealist Collection by Melody Rose
Q: What do you love about upcycling products?
A: I love bringing beautiful quality pieces back to life, taking ceramics that were ignored and left behind and transforming them with an intervention. I have a lifelong passion for vintage and antique ceramics and I’m very interested in making designs that pay homage to the original piece but also add an interesting juxtaposition of a modern motif or unexpected design. I love watching the smiles on people’s faces as they discover the designs and become interested again when rediscovering the beauty.
Q: How do you make your pieces?
A: In order to make a piece, for example, a skull on a plate, I create a design which is turned into a ceramic image. It’s placed onto the plate and then I fire it in the kiln at over 800 degrees. It takes about 24 hours once the piece is in the kiln before you can see the results.
Skull Plate by Melody Rose
Q: Tell me about your commissioned dinner sets.
A: I work with clients who choose from the range of designs and then select a mix of plates from the collection in my studio. Each dinner set is completely unique.
Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2013?
A: I’m currently launching a new line of bone china tableware to go along with my upcycled range. I’m very pleased to be working with a Pottery from Stoke-on-Trent, who is producing the bone china pieces. They are then gilded and decorated by hand in my London studio with designs from my current collections and will available to buy from late Feb 2013. I’m also working on a number of new designs which will fit into my current themes and will be ready to launch this summer in time for the London Design Festival.
New Bone China Tableware Collection
Check Melanie’s website at www.melodyrose.co.uk where you can shop. To give you an idea about prices – plates start at £30, cups at £28. Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Melody Rose, special thanks to Melanie Roseveare.