Nova Scotian born Ceramic Artist, Melza Harvey, began clay sculpting in 2003. Then self taught, she used clay sculpture to express and cope with the demands of being a Mental Health Worker in Downtown Vancouver. She has a Bachelor of Arts with an Advanced Major in Psychology and went on to be professionally trained as a ceramist from 2006-2009 at the Centre De Céramique Bonsecours in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, where she currently resides.
Melza is a proud queer, lesbian, gender-fluid mother of three young children. She copiously balanced earning a Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from Concordia University while navigating single motherhood. After graduating in 2016, she founded Melz Artz Mobile, a portable ceramic workshop that aims to make ceramic art instruction accessible to those with mobility issues.
Using various hand building methods and the pottery wheel, Melza’s practice explores themes such as mothering, feminism, gender fluidity, sexuality, anti-racism, and organic phenomena in a provocative and challenging way. She examines and contrasts art history with modern social constructs for inspiration.
“Vulnerability, and acceptance, are the groundwork to my artistic endeavours. I stimulate myself by pushing traditional techniques in an unexplored way. I am drawn to forms that balance precariously, build up layers of dripping, colour, and texture. I attempt to create space in my work in such a way that light can spill through the surface, let it breathe.”