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I work in clay for the pure joy of it. I love the challenge of working with the soft, malleable clay and transforming it into a shape or figure that had existed only in my mind. Using slabs of clay, I build up a hollow form, bringing into view the image that I had "sketched" in the air. If I am creating a face or a figure, the clay seems almost to come alive and speak to me. Whether the work is figuratively realistic or an abstraction, I try to create an empathy with the viewer, a recognition of the human experience. Intriguing surface texture is important to me, whether it is created through carving or layers of glazes.

I have always been fascinated by the stories of mythology and folklore. I like to think that my sculptures tell their own stories, but I've come to realize that they are also self-portraits. I tell my story through their expressions and gestures. In my work, my intent is to capture the essence of what it means to be human, expressing without words the depths and complexities of our human existence, portraying qualities such as strength and vulnerability, joy and sorrow, love, loneliness, tenderness, despair, sadness, and nostalgia.

My newest series, "The Architecture of Dreams", draws inspiration from my dreams, from mythology, and from the fantastical buildings of architect Antonio Gaudi, as well as the sculpture gardens of Niki de Saint Phalle. These sculptures tell stories and pose unanswered questions, a bit of mystery.

Working with clay is a sensual experience. Creating expressive work is a spiritual experience. And most fulfilling is when viewers sense the spirit in my work, when it speaks to them, and they recognize themselves.


Melody Villars

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