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.
Sevenoaks School : Contemporary Craft & Design Show at Sevenoaks
October 20, 2017 to October 22, 2017
Open Studio, David Melville : Open weekend - David Melville
November 11, 2017 to November 12, 2017
Royal Horticultural Society Gardens : Contemporary Craft & Design Fair - Wisley
November 22, 2017 to November 26, 2017
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.