After college in Rochester, Kent (now called the University for Creative Arts) I set up my workshop producing domestic stoneware and terracotta garden pots with the aim of working economically and efficiently to make pots for everyday use at a price that most could afford. That was 1980, and now although my work has gone through many changes my original aims are still current. I no longer make terracotta and make less tableware, my main output is stoneware for the garden, individually decorated pots and one-offs.
I am approaching a time when the need to produce quantity is receding and the desire to create more individual work is calling.
I love experimenting with materials, especially locally found. I have used a local clay and ash glaze for many years and chased the elusive copper reds for over 20 years. Lately I am experimenting with a chun glaze which was inspired by a visit to the Percival David collection at the British museum. The changes I go through are not rapid or diverse but a matter of building on previous work slowly but surely.
I believe you should pass your skills and enthusiasm onto others to create, so alongside making I also teach. Sometime ago I set up a separate business, "Clay in Schools", which is great fun - not so much pot making but anything in clay from animals to murals.
This site is dedicated to my one off pots; my production work and diary of events can be seen on the “Potteryman” website.
Hatfield House : Hatfield House Craft Fair with ceramic art
May 08, 2014 to May 12, 2014
Patchings Exhibition Centre : Patchings Festival - includes ceramic art
June 05, 2014 to June 08, 2014
West Midlands Showground : The Big Art Show - includes ceramics
July 19, 2014 to July 20, 2014
Hyde End : Hyde End Craft Fair - David Melville pottery
October 03, 2014 to October 05, 2014
Sevenoaks School : Sevenoaks School Craft Fair, with ceramics
October 24, 2014 to October 26, 2014
Open Studio, David Melville : Open weekend - David Melville
November 08, 2014 to November 09, 2014
Hatfield House : Christmas Frost Fair
November 21, 2014 to November 23, 2014
Royal Horticultural Society Gardens : Craft Show at Wisley with ceramics
November 25, 2014 to November 30, 2014
Rochester Castle Gardens : Dickens Festival Craft Fair with ceramic art
December 05, 2014 to December 07, 2014
David's current work includes reduction fired stoneware, domestic/garden and exhibition work.
David takes part in exhibitions but most of his work is sold direct to the public or wholesale through shops and galleries. See the artist's website or email for details. David also exhibits with the Kent Potters' Society.
David has started a blog - basically about the being a potter with a section on tips. I aim to blog once a week and will use it to promote shows and interesting sites as well.
Find it at: www.potteryman.wordpress.com
Primavera – Cambridge
Rufford – Nottinghamshire
Hayrack – Northamptonshire
Dazzle – Yorkshire
Room15 – Oban
Gailey pottery – Stafford
Westgate gallery – Grantham
Bel green – Exeter
David uses a self built gas reduction kiln, fired to 1280c. Glazes are his own formulae, some made using local materials.
In 2013 David was a selected finalist out of 1100 participants on the Craft & Design magazine website
Using one of his glaze designs he won a competition designing a yacht sail as part of the Whitstable White Horses project.