Mella Shaw lives and works in Edinburgh where she combines her ceramic practice with teaching and freelance curation. She is a visiting lecturer on the BA Ceramic Design course at Central Saint Martins (London), Tutor at Edinburgh Ceramics Workshop and a board member of Visual Arts Scotland.
Mella makes thought-provoking objects and site-specific installations around environmental themes of balance, tipping points, fragility and loss. Originally gaining a BA in Anthropology at Durham University, she specialised in anthropology of art, critical theory and material culture. After a period making documentary films, she moved to London to work in the museum sector and became Head of Exhibitions at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, and subsequently Exhibitions Manager at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge. This career was dovetailed with her ceramic practice; in 2009 she took a two-year Diploma in Ceramics at City Lit, London and went on to complete an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2013.
Since then she has shown work nationally and internationally and has been selected for exhibitions such as AWARD at the British Ceramics Biennial in 2015 and Collect Open in 2017. In February 2020 she was shown by Craft Scotland at Collect, London.