Melanie Tomlinson

  • Mel T copyright Richard Battye 3.jpg Somerset River (Praxinoscope), 2013. Hand printed steel and found object. Photo credit: Richard Battye.
  • Melanie Tomlinson - Cranes Necklace.jpg Cranes Necklace, 2015. Hand printed steel, brass and paper. Photo credit: Bogdan Tanea.
  • Melanie Tomlinson Golden Beetles.jpg Golden Beetles, 2013. Hand printed steel. Photo credit: Bogdan Tanea.
  • Melaie Tomlinson River Shimmer (high res).jpg River Shimmer, 2014. Hand printed steel. Photo credit: Bogdan Tanea.

What inspires me

I am inspired by the natural world and conservation. I am interested in the relationship between people and nature and how folklore or a narrative can help us to have a better understanding of the flora and fauna we share the planet with.

I love metal and have always been drawn to it as a medium. I love the way the metal surface gleams through the coloured illustrations once the sheets have been printed.

Making in the Midlands

I have worked all over the UK and more recently abroad. Place was not important to me when I started out as I knew I would move around a lot and exhibit in many different places.

However, the Midlands has been very important to my work as a participatory artist. I have developed my career in this area in many locations throughout the Midlands particularly working with Craftspace and Hyrbid Consulting. These two organisations have been very important to the development of my work as a participatory artist.

What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years

I have observed that more processes are coming into play in terms of digital technology and mass production. There seems to be a trend in offering interactive/technology driven artwork in craft exhibitions and an expectation that makers engage with new technology. I do feel that the value of handmade object is lessening.

I am also concerned about the closure of crafts courses in universities and the lack of crafts education in schools. It is important that craft is in the minds of the new generation of collector and makers at an early age so traditions of making continue and that we do not become swamped by machine made objects however well designed.