Melinda Collins, a 5th
generation Texan, has had extensive experience both teaching & creating pottery for 25 years. She is a 1977 graduate of the University of Texas in mathematics & biology, and before going to Guatemala, she taught at Kilgore College, a small college in East Texas. She was the director of the Adult Learning Center. In Antigua, Guatemala, she taught claywork, both wheel thrown & handbuilt, to beginners & experienced artists from all over the world. Melinda was featured in the Guatemalan English language magazine, the REVUE
, for her work with native materials & pure jade glazes. She also wrote articles related to ceramica for the magazine.
High points of her work in Guatemala included designing & making porcelain dinnerware for the president of Guatemala, Arturo Arzu, & a Mayan inspired presentation necklace for the current
president of the country, Oscar Berger. While in Guatemala, she operated a gallery of her work, Celadon Galleria de Porcelana, in Antigua. In the fall of 2004, she studied Islamic art & contemporary porcelain in Istanbul, Turkey. Melinda recently completed an article detailing her research with an innovative saggar firing technique to duplicate the fumed reduction lusters of ancient Islamic/Persian pottery.
Her current jewelry collection uses the Japanese technique of nerikomi or neriage (colored clay patterning), combining porcelain & native volcanic basalt, oxides & pigments.
Ron Collins is a retired USAF instructor pilot. A clay artist & potter with a degree in geology, he is an expert in locating jade & was employed by Jades, SA to locate and buy jade in the mountains of Guatemala. He discovered the previously unknown garnets that he reported to the Departmento de Minerales that are now receiving interest. Fluent in Spanish, he grew up with his family in Columbia & Venezuela. On the Discovery Channel, you will see Ron in “Mayan Jade
” when he took the Discovery Channel crew out to the Zacapa area of central Guatemala to find Mayan jadeworking sites and film the process of identifying, splitting & hauling out jade boulders as it was done by the Maya.
Previously residing in the world heritage site of Antigua Guatemala, Ron and Melinda Collins are currently developing new ceramic work and living in Kerrville, Texas.