Maker Spotlight: Ceramic Artist Melissa Reddick

Ceramic artist Melissa Reddick’s distinct use of emotion and historic reference are what make her creations at Modern History Clay Works so special. Her pottery is an experience of delight for the soul and senses. Last Christmas, Melissa created a custom piece for my grandma. She used a hair comb that belonged to my great, great grandmother to create a unique piece. First, she imprinted the design into wet clay. Then, created a one-of-a-kind tray that has since become a family heirloom. Melissa believes in this kind of work; one that captures inspiration that transcends generations.

Where does inspiration come from?

As an artist, Melissa Reddick has come to believe that the most authentic sources of inspiration are right in front of us. The challenge is only opening one’s eyes to them. She loves the simplicity and honesty of using the things in her everyday life as the foundation of her art.

For this reason, most all of her current work begins with things that are closest to her. For example, an antique letter or vintage photograph from her family collection, tatting and lace hand sewn by her great grandmother (who she is named after), or shells and nautical treasures found on early morning beach walks with her youngest child. Or, the tiny seed pods and vibrant blossoms picked from the garden right outside of her studio. The result are works of art that strive to celebrate the blessing of an ordinary days.

Ceramic Artist Melissa Reddick

Melissa Reddick is a Ceramic Artist and the owner of Modern History Clay Works Studio in Davidson, North Carolina. Her first memories of working with clay date back to the early 1970s when she shaped her first tiny pot as a preschooler in Knoxville, Tennessee. Melissa knew from those early days that she was forever hooked on the material. She has been an artist and maker ever since. She earned degrees in Fine Art / Ceramics in college and the Museum Education with a focus on ceramics in graduate school. 

For years, as she raised her 3 children, Reddick worked part time as a potter and private teacher. She offered wheel technique classes to students out of her home studio. As the demand for her own work increased, she founded her own business, Modern History Clay Works. Then, she began selling her collections and custom pieces to boutiques and museum shops, galleries, and private individuals across the country. Her work has been featured in Garden and Gun, Travel Girl, and Haven Magazines.

From: Susie Collaboration

Susie’s invitation to ceramic artist Melissa Reddick to include a piece in the 2020 Fall Decor Box was a welcomed one in that it came with a chance to offer her creative voice to the final product. During this special collaboration, she worked with Susie to fine tune the design and color choice for the piece that bares the impression of a fig leaf found in the artist’s own garden. Susie and Melissa have continued to work together throughout the year creating pieces for the Winter, Spring, and Summer Decor Boxes ( Pearl Nesting Set, French Water Pitcher and Berry Colander). 

In referring their collaborations, Melissa states that she appreciates Susie’s warmth and the unique way she strives to promote the artists and their businesses. For instance, Susie does not simply marketing a product with her own brand as so many companies do these days. Susie promotes their work and uplifts the makers and artists. In addition, she shines a light of appreciation for their craft. She celebrates not only the pot turned on the wheel, but also the hands that created it. 

In addition, the two have partnered to offer a line of handmade designs which are exclusive to Susie’s shop. The Low Country Collection, functional and beautiful handmade stoneware for special occasions and everyday use, debuted in early May.

Again, you can shop the entire Low Country Collection from ceramic artist Melissa Reddick at Shop From: Susie. In addition, you can read more about the artists and makers that Susie has collaborated with on the blog. Here are a few recent posts… Texas woodworkers 8FDesigns, painter Mary Gregory, or ceramic artists, The Wrights.

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