Thursday, October 8, 2015

China-Painting Workshop

Learn techniques for this beautiful post-glaze firing decoration style. This workshop coincides with my exhibition at Belger Crane Yard Gallery.

Saturday will consist of different China-painting techniques on plates and tiles. Aspects such as composition planning, transferring images, tools and mixing medium for application, as well as firing procedures and temperatures will all be demonstrated, discussed and immediately applied. We will fire the pieces made that night for pick up the next day.

On Sunday, we will cover many of the same considerations for Luster application techniques. Although similar to China painting in firing temperature range, Luster application and firing techniques have subtle differences that are best understood with good demonstration and hands-on application.

These two days can be taken on their own or as a pair. They go hand-in-hand, so the two-day option is highly recommended.

The workshop includes china paint and luster materials, ceramic tiles/plates to be decorated, and firing. Participants bring their own tools. A tool list will be supplied in advance.

Saturday (China-Painting): $100
Sunday (Luster-Painting): $100
Both Days: $180
To sign up, email or call 816-474-7316

China-Painting Workshop | October 17 + 18, 2015
Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108

Sunday, September 27, 2015

SCHEMA: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery

Melanie Sherman - SCHEMA: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery

You are hereby cordially invited to attend the reception of "SCHEMA: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery":

I am very excited to announce the date for the opening reception of my new exhibition “Schema: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery” at Belger Crane Yard Studios, 2011 Tracy Ave, Kansas City, MO 64108 on Friday, October 2nd from 6pm – 9pm. I will have more than 50 pieces on display including precious vases, platters, plates, photography and much more featuring traditional and contemporary imagery and patterns; all delicately China painted and wonderfully decorated with gold and flock.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I am working on my upcoming solo exhibition at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, Missouri.

"SCHEMA: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery" opens on October 2, 2015.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

INSPIRATION | Japanese Tattoos

My travels through Asia last year opened another door for me; I have been inspired by different patterns used traditionally throughout ceramics, fabrics, wood, metal, and the arts in general. Japanese tattoos have a rich amount of patterns and imagery as well, using very traditional symbolism and decorations. I've been collecting tattoo designs, pairing them with the patterns I've collected throughout my travels, and am painting them onto my ceramic pieces made during my residency in Jingdezhen, China.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

STUDIO | Cleaning the studio

Although I have been working in my home studio since November last year, I haven't had the time yet to get everything out of the boxes and organize the tools and supplies properly. These boxes were packed at the Kansas City Art Institute when I graduated in 2014... 

I am still missing a lot of my throwing tools and that just shows how long I've not been throwing. I have mainly been working with plaster and casting slip, and most of my time right now is filled with china-painting the vases, plates, and tea sets I brought back from my travels to Asia last year.
The wheel area -
I did sit down yesterday to throw some cups on the wheel -
I still got it, no worries, it's like riding a bike!

My shelving -
the family we rent the space from designed everything for
their painting studio.
We just added some shelving to accommodate our needs
to store shorter stuff.

The china-painting area -
I like to stand up when I work.
It is much easier on my back!
This has just the right height to stand all day
and not get a backache!

Oh, all the stuff I have...
Mostly molds I made during my residencies in
Hungary and China, supplies I used during
my Undergrad years at KCAI, and tools...
... loads of tools...

Monday, August 17, 2015

SHOP | New jewelry in the shop!

I've been listing a couple of items each day to my etsy shop []: Today's add were two elegant and minimalist white pendant necklaces I made during my time in Hungary:

Melanie Sherman Porcelain Necklace Silver White
Porcelain necklace, white with silver chain
Hungarian Porcelain
1 1/4" x 1 1/4"

Chain: Silver, 19"
US$ 36.00

Porcelain necklace, white with silver chain Hungarian Porcelain
1 1/4" x 1 1/4"
Chain: Silver, 19"
US$ 36.00

I'm also listing these white porcelain necklaces with gold luster and 15" gold snake chain necklace:
Porcelain necklace, white with gold
Hungarian Porcelain
1" x 3/4"
Chain: Gold. snake, 15"

US$ 36.00 

Porcelain necklace, white with gold
Hungarian Porcelain
1" x 3/4"
Chain: Gold. snake, 15"

US$ 36.00 

An elegant way to wear porcelain! These porcelain "tokens" were decorated with a gold luster and then designed into rings, pendants, brooches, and earrings. I make these tokens on my travels around the globe, with local materials, and transform them into a wearable piece of art. These jewelry pieces are assembled by me here in the US in my ceramics studio and every piece is unique. This beautiful porcelain comes from Hungary, where I worked for 6 weeks in 2015. It is one of the whitest, most translucent porcelain.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Studio Nong in KCMO

I took the sculpture workshop with artist collective Studio Nong at Belger Crane Yard Studios here in KCMO. This was my first time sculpting and working with a red clay body, and I enjoyed all the pointers Misty Gamble, Jessie Fisher and Bangmin Nong could give me. Although my sculpture looked nothing like our model Tommy Frank, it was super exciting to work so contrarily to how I usually operate. No porcelain and metal nibs for precision, just red iron stained hands, a wooden tool, and an eye for facial planes and contours.

Studio Nong is an artists collective and international residency program focused on figurative clay sculpture and the fusion on eastern and western artistic practice. Made up of eight artists and educators from the United States and southern China, the Collective's current residency program takes place at the Memphis College of Art and the Kansas City Art Institut.
The work they made during this residency will be in a show called "SunSet | SunRise: Work from Studio Nong" and will be up at Belger Crane Yard Studios here in KCMO from August 28th until September 18th, 2015. I toured their studio at the Kansas City Art Institute yesterday and their sculptures look AMAZING!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FLUX - Kansas City Art Institute


Fall 2012 Juried Ceramics Exhibition

Kansas City Art Institute
Stern Ceramics Building
4410 Warwich Boulevard
Kansas City, MO

Opening Reception
Friday, November 30th

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday, December 1st  10am - 5pm
Sunday, December 2nd  12pm - 5pm

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Business Cards

I ordered new business cards at moo. I ordered their "green" cards, environmental friendly. Unfortunately these do not come in glossy, nor with rounded edges, but at least I've done less harm to Mother Earth.

New business cards


Friday, October 19, 2012

Loading another test kiln

Shane closing the kiln... And then it wouldn't turn on :(
Shane closing the kiln.

Cone 10 reduction - testing before final firings... With Brandon and Shane.
Cone 10 reduction - testing before final firings... With Shane and Brandon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Done! Loading a kiln tomorrow with more tests before we finally have to
make up our minds on how we want things to be glazed... Decision...decisions...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Progress in studio

Working on four sets of dinner plates, salad plates, and soup bowls (spoons, in my case)
+ 3 serving bowls

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Studio Space

Studio space at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) is sparse these days. Although our Junior group is small, we've had 28 Sophomores come in this semester, and nobody has dropped... yet... I am surprised, as usual, how much stuff I have and how much stuff I use, and how little space I have to store all of this stuff! So, a big clean-up was in order for midterm critique, I moved my wheel so I can utilize my entire work space in front of the window, organized my tools and moved all the other stuff into my cubby(ies). 

My wheel and work space. The lower two shelves are mine as well.
My image sources - pure inspiration! Plus some much needed workspace.
Thank goodness I have awesome studio mates who share some of their space :)
Kudos to Corey and Joey!
Some of my many tools in these awesome soda crates that I found for
cheap at an antique mall here in KCMO.

Work in progress

Pillow with spoon, porcelain
deadline for 5 more of these + 6 large dinner plates is Wednesday...
time flies, as usual -- am not sure what I've been doing these past 2 weeks?!?!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Almost midterm...

It's almost midterm time here at the Kansas City Art Institute -- our first midterm as Juniors!! I've been working pretty hard and long hours on putting together a place setting. We've had so many weeks of throwing bowls and plates, reviewing, refining, reproducing and we are still only at midterms. But how much fun it is to just play around with different forms and designs and let your ideas guide you through the process.

I started out throwing a bunch of little bowls and trimming the bottoms round; I then started to manipulate the rims, cutting something off here, re-attaching it there, shaping the bowls into ovals.


I added slabs and put an upholstery pattern on it, attached a foot off-center, took that off again, added a rim, added more detail, and finally came up with something that resembles a pillow. I stuck with this idea and am now in the process of developing this "pillow"-idea further and integrating it into a place set.


For my midterm critique I am going to have two sets; both are not fully developed yet, but the direction I am taking with this is pretty clear. On my source imagery blog I have several references to upholstery, and fabrics, as well as frames, borders, and rims. I'm still working on surface decoration for the lower plate, not sure yet if it will be therma-faxing, rice paper decals or iron-oxide decals yet. Maybe I can figure out a nice layering effect with a few of these techniques.

Dinner set... Week 6
Working on a dinner set... Week 7 or so...
Follow me on Instagram: melancholie

I'm still struggling with how these sets will be glazed, but the testing will begin after midterms. I'm thinking bare, beautiful white porcelain, black underglaze, and gold luster... Wish me luck :)