I was born in October 1952, in Cape Town, South Africa.
As a child, I was always very creative. Painting, drawing, crafting things, playing music and dancing. All were great loves of mine.
After school, during the mid 70's, I studied at the Rudolph Steiner Centre in the UK. I went on to complete a 4 year diploma in The Arts in Cape Town. This art form, called Eurythmy, encompassed Movement, Music and Language, as well as Painting, Sculpting and Art History.
I worked for some years in a Waldorf School in Cape Town, teaching this art form.
As a young mother, with little children at home, I started an Art School for children, and taught Art, Ceramics and Crafts to children up to the age of 12. I held several exhibitions of the children’s work in the town where we lived at the time. Simultaneously, I approached an organisation to help fund Art Classes for children in the less privileged area of our town. These were a great success and were attended over weekend times by very large groups of ‘creative hungry’ kids.
I also extended these Art and Craft classes and courses into public centres where I ran projects teaching Child Art during school holidays.
Just before my 40’s, I made a very big change in career. I studied one of the Healing Arts, and went on to run my own private practice as a Polarity Therapist and Counselor for many years.
In 2003, after a life-changing walking-journey through Spain, I visited a friend in Barcelona. There I was exposed to the mosaics and architecture of Antoni Gaudi. I was Inspired.
On my return to South Africa, I stumbled upon a small exhibition of mosaics and was instantly hooked. I attended 4 morning classes in mosaic work, learning some of the basics, and I’ve never looked back.
In 2006, my life circumstances changed in such a way as to enable me to move from the Healing Arts and Business back into the creative Arts. At last, the time arrived to engage fully with my creative-artistic side.
I’ve been enormously encouraged by friends and loved ones. After all, they were the ones seeing my work during the early years, and applauding.
In 2007 I was lucky enough to travel to Italy, where I spent a week in the Ravenna studio of Luciana Notturni, studying the antique methods of mosaic and being introduced to working with a hammer and hardie for cutting smalti and marble.
I’m continuously developing and evolving my style, expression and ideas. My use of materials has also been very diverse, although these days, Venetian Smalti, is becoming my material of preference.
In January 2010 I completed the two weeks of Master Classes at Orsoni‘s Bottega in Venice, Italy, where I met Lucio Orsoni the Maestro who gave his ideas and critique of my work. The course was guided and taught by the wonderful Antonella Gallenda.
I have now opened my studio for teaching. For those already working with mosaic, and also for aspiring mosaic artists. I'd like to have students who wish to open or develop their creativity using the medium of mosaic. Students will work over a number of weeks on an artistic project, learning to use Venetian Smalti, as well as other types of glass.
I’m planning my first solo exhibition later in 2010.
Mel Miller, mosaic artist
Featured in the Mosaic Year Book
2010, 2009, 2008
Exhibited with Artists of the South
Artist of the month SA Mosaic Association
"Some mosaics live inside me for a very long time. I love the feeling of clarity when a particular piece calls to be made. Inspiration and ecstasy are loving sisters."
Lucio Orsini, Mel Miller & Antonella Gallende