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artist working in mixed media in a primitive outsider style, drawing and painting in a narrative style of portraits, plant people and trying to do a self portrait of himself everyday.
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Chameleon Clay Works
Local Teacher Uses Art And Humor To Create Unique Pieces
Bye Jackie Seabolt
Enterprise Record A quaint house on Mocksville’Cherry Street is surrounded by a picket fence. Out back a small artist’s studio is situated on a picturesque spot in the backyard. This is home of Melanie Micale and her husband, Augie. She is an elementary school teacher at Pinebrook Elementary.
The couple moved to Davie County six years ago from the Atlanta area and now these two native New Yorkers have settled in with their four dogs, one very independent cat, and the occasional opossum that Melanie takes care of as a wildlife rehabilitator.
Though Melanie is a busy woman she finds time to indulge her artistic passion and design unique pieces for her business Chameleon Clay Works. Melanie says she took her first pottery class in college « many, many years ago ».
After graduation she continued to complete pottery classes here and there. Inside her tiny studio a table holds sponges, brushes, and tiny clay pieces that are works-in-progress.
A wheel, a kiln, a slab roller, and extruder are spaced around the studio. Melanie picks up one of her finished pieces – a cat with a tiny feather protruding from its mouth. « Cat bird, » she says with a smile. « I like a little humor with my art ».
She quickly scoops up another piece and announces. « He had a head for numbers ». Her seriousness fades as she laughs at the small likeness of human head covered with numbers.
« I go from this to that, » she says. « I think of these kind of kooky things. And , I like the flexibility and things that run the spectrum. » Animals and wildlife are a friend from France sent her of a rooster. « That’s when I started doing rooster piece. »
There’s a tiny carton of clay eggs decored with whimsical faces. »They are kind of like little caricatures. » Melanie doesn’t use stencils or molds and creates all her clay pieces as the ideas develop in her head. « I’m never quite sure what I’m going to do," she says as looks around her studio.
As we leave a planter box can be seen hanging below the studio window. Ivy trails along the wall and if you look closely at planter you can spot small clay face s staring back at you.
Melanie says the tiny faces are « rejects » that she hasn’t thrown away, but instead placed in the planter to add interest. A final glance inside the studio and a small unfinished clay piece is spotted among the brushes and sponges.
It’s a tiny chameleon.
One of Melanie’s works-in-progress that she says she wants to be sure turns out just right.
According to her website she chose to use a chameleon as her logo because of its ability to adapt and change.
Two characteristics she practices in her art as well. « It gives me great pleasure to incorporate different techniques and add new twists and turns to my pieces. » If you would like to see more of Melanie’s work visit chamelonclayworks.com.