Melissa Mytty was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. She received her BFA in ceramics from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit in 2005 and her MFA in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2007. She then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be a Resident Artist at The Clay Studio from 2007 through 2012. Mytty’s work focuses on the vessel format created by hand building techniques of pinching and coiling. She is intrigued by combinations of patterning such as the play of polka dots juxtaposed by prints reminiscent of elegance and formality. Her surfaces are eccentrically patterned with layers of pigment, glaze and luster. Mytty has exhibited nationally and is currently living and working out of her studio in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.
The ceramic vessel is the focus of my investigation in my studio. I make forms using both pinching and slab building techniques. I enjoy combining various colors and techniques to achieve depth of surface and interesting results. The glaze is brushed onto the pots so the surfaces take on a painterly quality. I see the surfaces as a combination of Color Field painting converged with Ben Day dots of Pop Art. The surfaces are layered with under glazes, glazes and luster; I am interested in the combinations of these materials and their resulting emotive qualities. In some areas, there are four or five layers of glaze that create a depth of field concealing underlying colors in some areas and revealing in others. I strive to make beautiful, colorful and happy artwork to function well and bring joy to every day objects.
My favorite way to use Speedball Underglaze is to tape resist shapes like squares or rectangles and to draw out shapes in pencil which I then paint in like a circle or an oval. I do my underglaze application onto bisqued ceramics for the base layer of my composition. Since the underglaze does not move in the glaze firing I like to use this product for the elements that I wish to hold a sharp line. The product is very durable as I glaze over it and because the underglazes do not change color much in the kiln it better helps me visualize the final composition. My favorite Speedball products are the Orange (1069) (Can we have a whole conversation about how much I love this bright orange?!), Royal Blue (1056), Red (1070), and White (1050). I use these straight out of the bottle as well as mixed together in small batches to create a wide array of colors. I love how these can all be mixed together like paints and are very predictable. I love the opacity of the application and the brilliance color. Mostly I enjoy the flexibility these underglazes give me to mix my own colors like a painter mixes acrylics. I find glaze calculation to be intimidating and arduous so the fact that I can dream up for example a light blue or pink etc and mix it up quickly with a high predicability of the result is amazing. It allows me to work intuitively and build the surface in rhythm. I use Speedball Underglaze in almost everything I make in my studio.