"I was interested in learning to sculpt because I knew it would open up a new way of seeing -and drawing- the human figure. After several moths of classes with Melanie, I discovered that I had fallen in love with the process of sculpting. Melanie is a natural teacher with knowledge, skill, patience and flexibility and the ability to teach her art with warmth and humour. You learn and have fun at the same time. You leave the class wanting more --and most importantly, with the confidence that YOU TOO can sculpt." -Marnie, Intro to Portrait Sculpture, Guided Studio
I met Melanie at the Moss St Paint In in 2014. I was interested in taking a class because I had a desire to learn more about sculpting and to do something interesting with my after work time. It was the clearly laid out curriculum, ability to build experience to truly learn the art of sculpting over time, and the evening class availability that motivated me to sign up for a course.
At first I was concerned that I might be the slowest in the class because of my rusty art skills, or that my chaotic personal life might interfere with my ability to commit to a 12 week course. However, I was able to participate well, develop my own personal skills greatly and complete my projects.
I appreciate that it really was a personal skill development course. The individual pace was wonderful. There was a stronger emphasis on both learning to really look and see what we are sculpting, and the "whys' behind it than other courses I have taken. I have a much stronger understanding of how the human face and body are composed. I feel that both my drawing and my sculpture skills have developed.
The most satisfying part of the experience was being able to see my skills develop quickly and bringing home an object that did not look like an amateur piece.
I find that I am looking at everything with fresh eyes. I will be able to apply this to my drawing and painting, and will also be able to look at and appreciate sculpture in a different way.
I am very pleased and motivated to do more. I hope to be back in the Fall!
-Megan, Atelier Class (formerly 'Guided Studio')
I want to thank you so very much for the class last week. Please let me explain that, my health is quite fragile and I have just had a quadruple bypass procedure on my heart. My wife and I are very much in love and we wanted a keepsake, in case I passed soon. Now, thinking back, you may understand why we both burst out in tears when our hands came out of the molds. It was simply because, we could not have asked for a better keepsake. Thanks for the great class, thanks for your great attitude, thanks for your can-do approach and thanks for experience itself."
Your new friends,
David and Katie
Clay sculpture was a subject I longed to take up for many years. I concentrated on painting, drawing, photography and writing. I met Melanie at an art and music festival were she exhibited her work and allowed all to experience working with clay. Playing with the clay was pure pleasure. I decided to take up the art of sculpture then and there and signed up for a class with Melanie.
Having had years of experience with art and its history it was easy to see that the works exhibited by Melanie were that of a master sculptor. Her portrait sculpture captures the very essence of the sitter. If one is to learn the art of clay sculpture I knew it would have to be with a master of the art. Attending her classes proved to me that Melanie was also a master teacher. Many people are highly skilled in their chosen vocation but lack the ability to teach. The number of mediocre and bad teachers is legion.
Some of her students come from an art background but many others have no experience in art. I've witnessed Melanie take students who could not draw a straight line and step by step bring them to an understanding of three dimensional form, gesture and expression. In a short time she has them sculpting the human ear, nose, lips and the planes of the skull.
She examines your work from every angle and points out how to make it better. Every student gets her full attention. Before they know it, the students are sculpting a portrait of a friend or family member and then go on to sculpt the human figure. The joy of accomplishment is evident on the faces of those attending her classes.
As a teacher Melanie embodies the finest qualities. Her patience is endless. Her soft spoken courtesy and charm make her everyone's favourite teacher. As a sculptor and teacher of sculpture the lady is simply amazing.
-Alexander, Foundation Program and Atelier (formerly 'Guided Studio')
"I am continually impressed with your artwork and pleased to know you have such a beautiful creative space to work and hold your classes in. You are a very inspiring and talented artist who has the ability to communicate very effectively as a teacher from beginners to advanced." -M.M.L., Intro to Portrait Sculpture, Guided Studio
"Taking sculpture classes with Melanie is an engaging and satisfying experience. She provides well organized lessons with lots of visual resources and a variety of approaches to solving structural problems. Her studio has been a great place for re-discovering my creativity!" -Ruth, Intro to Portrait Sculpture, Guided Studio
"Learning to sculpt has added a new perspective and deepened how I look at forms. The class was fabulous, I loved it and appreciate Melanie so much!" -M.M, Intro to Portrait Sculpture
"I loved learning new skills in a small class and very welcoming, relaxed environment. Melanie is very informative, knowledgeable, and kind. Learning to see is very valuable- my painting of figures has improved and I am more confident. I am now interested in a whole new world of art! I would recommend this class to everyone- from beginners to advanced artists." -Faye, Intro to Portrait Sculpture
"I enjoyed the calm meditative action of sculpting with the model rotating, and the tea breaks :) I now find myself analyzing everyone's features (whether they be friends of strangers). The 3D component of sculpting has improved my drawing and made it look less "flat". -Sophie, Intro to Portrait Sculpture
"Great instruction and plenty of time to practice each component. Mel- you're a wonderful teacher! Thanks." -Anonymous, Drawing for Sculpture
"I appreciated the clear directions, positive reinforcement, music and you giving us the time and space to work on our projects. I learned that drawing has a definite technical aspect. Thanks for the tea and cookies!" - Anonymous, Drawing for Sculpture
"This class was very enjoyable! I loved that you provided use of tools, how well organized you were, and that you had broken down the sculpting techniques into steps that were manageable." -Anonymous, Intro to Portrait Sculpting