My name is Lianne Mellor and I am the designer and illustrator of a range of homeware called Mellor Ware. As I was growing up on the Wirral, my childhood was filled with making dens, drawing pictures and listening to wild and exciting stories. I guess this is what led to my overactive imagination, creating narratives and giving life to the things that surrounded me, from the birds in the garden, to the fish on the counter at the local market.
I began selling my original illustrations while studying for my degree in architecture. When I graduated in 2009 I realised that my passion lay with telling stories through my watercolour illustrations. I gradually began to develop my portfolio of drawings into collection of useable products.
My influences are deeply rooted in the quintessentially British pastimes of afternoon teas, garden parties and quirky dances. The illustrations are inspired by the idea that when our backs are turned, foxes, birds, squirrels, badgers and hedgehogs come out in force to act out these very English activities. The simplicity of the watercolours allows the viewer to create their own narrative for the characters in a collection that is both timeless and contemporary.
The range encompasses everything from cake stands, teapots and mugs, to tea towels, aprons and christening gifts! The concept of the range is that you can collect multiple items of chinaware, adding different characters to build your own unique tea party set. Each set will then tell your own individual tale of British wildlife having a tea party! My china is a modern alternative to Grannie's "Best" teaware, pretty enough to be used every day, but practical enough to be slung in the dishwasher or microwave.
I get great satisfaction from watching people’s faces as they see my illustrations for the first time, it’s as if I can see them creating their own stories and scenarios for each of the characters. That’s the beauty of an illustration, the story telling is only limited by your own imagination!