I’m Melanie Mena. I’m Canadian. I grew up in Ontario & I lived in BC for a while, but my roots are on the East Coast on the island of Newfoundland.
At a very young age my Uncle Bill often found me in mud puddles, making mud pies so he gave me the nickname “Mud” & I sometimes wonder if he might have inadvertently set the course of my life…
While I was in high school my Art teacher Mr. Flanagan said, “I bet you’d enjoy making pottery on the wheel.” We didn’t have any wheels at my high school but Mr. Flanagan encouraged me to take a wheel throwing class if I ever had the oppportunity.
Many years later, after university, after a cross-country move, after getting a “real” job, I saw an ad for wheel throwing workshops at my local community centre. I remembered Mr. Flanagan’s suggestion and signed up for the beginner class, he was right – I love wheel throwing.
I took my first class around 2000 & I’ve been making pottery ever since. After 4 years of workshops at the community centre I found a studio space and continued learning through trial & error.
I kept practicing & making pottery on my own for about 10 years while I worked at various desks for various companies. Then something crazy happened, I lost my job. I was blindsided & it took me a while to recover but it was an opportunity to really change my life.
I wrote a business plan, I designed my first three lines of pottery & on December 1, 2010 I launched my business Mena Dragonfly.
A year later, my husband & our two incredibly cute dachshunds, Molly & Lexy, moved from Vancouver to Ontario. On July 1, 2012 we opened The Black Licorice Tree B&B in Prince Edward County. All of our guests are served breakfast with my handmade table ware. And I have my own pottery studio & shop in our carriage house.