Mel Howse is a British artist, designer and maker of public art commissions, and primarily in the mediums of glass and metal. Mel’s portfolio embraces art that is integral to exterior and interior architecture, and the sense of place. Her design style is progressive, innovative, and intentionally utilises contemporary industrial techniques.
She has over 20 years professional experience and has undertaken a huge range of commissions in the UK including most notably: the 500sqm art glass facade for retailer J Sainsbury’s in central Milton Keynes; the Huddleston Memorial Window (with the theme of apartheid) at Lancing College Chapel dedicated by Desmond Tutu; carved glass doors at St Nicholas Arundel, securing a Sussex Heritage Award; creation of The Art Bath in cast iron and fired enamel; and, a touring sculpture (toured cathedrals nationwide 2011-2014) composed of giant spun vessels and industrial vitreous enamel for the charity Christian Aid.
Much of Mel’s work is site specific, animating and informing the identity of their surroundings, functional and often facing into and engaging with the community. Most of her work is permanently installed. Mel is used to working within project teams. Effective communication in previous projects has directly led to the successful participation in architectural competitions, planning applications, public presentations and Section 106 developments. For J Sainsbury’s, she was engaged in the early days of the scheme as part of the architectural competition, and later worked with the developer and constructor to create and install the work.
In July 2014 she gave a talk about her innovative work to The American Glass Guild in Philadelphia USA, she also lectured for The Guild of Enamellers conference in the UK about her experience. Mel also gained a Sussex Heritage Award for the part her glass work played within the restoration of St Mary Magdalene church in Whatlington Sussex where she installed two new windows and a carved glass balustrade.Recent projects include a collection of contemporary work created whilst a guest of the Applied Arts Departments at The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge. The collection includes many of Mel's distinctive, hand enamelled vessels. Current commissions include public art for developers Affinity Sutton for a mixed used development in Hove, designed by architects Conran and Partners.