Title: “Melissa the Queen Bee/The Kiss of Life”

Dimensions: 48 cm HT x 46 cm WDTH

Medium: Nova Scotia red earthenware clay

Date Made: Spring 2019

Retail Price: $950.00

Artist’s Statement (meaning/inspiration, etc.): “Melissa the Queen Bee Goddess/The Kiss of Life” was inspired from Greek mythology that called the Great Mother Melissa the Goddess of the Bees.  Bees were held in high esteem by the Cretans from possibly as long as the beginning of the Neolithic period.  Their beliefs were the spirit of the Bee blew their “honey breath of life” into those they favored which was the source of all knowledge and the arts.


Hand built/slab construction with use of hand press mold form to create body of the bee.  Decorative/Wall hanging.  Created with Nova Scotia Red Earthenware Clay.  Glazed with colorful underglazes and transparent colored overglazes, fired electric kiln.

Mary Jane Lundy is a Craft Nova Scotia Master Artisan who creates land and sea inspired ceramic sculptural work, with the goal of generating a joyous visual experience. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 2003 with a BFA in Ceramics. During her studies at NSCAD University, she was inspired by the designs of 15th century French ceramist Bernard Palissy.  Palissy cast living things such as frogs, lizards, fish, plants and shells in plaster to create clay press molds.  Like Palissy who cast only species from his surrounding area, Mary Jane has limited her subjects to Nova Scotian sea life.  

Mary Jane's ceramic studio practice is based on hand-built slab clay construction using red earthenware clay, native to Nova Scotia. With the use of hand-made forms and her signature plaster cast molds, she creates tiles, fish, mythical creatures, wall/tree hangings, fish houses, birds, nests and large tabletop water fountains.  Mary Jane’s work emphasizes surface decoration using repetitive, visual patterning through a variety of techniques - such as pressing crochet doilies into clay slabs. Her use of under-glaze layering combined with transparent over-glaze, creates depth and glaze pooling throughout the imprinted sculpture. Her work is meant to engage the viewer by enticing them to interact with her pieces by touching and feeling the texture.  

 Mary Jane's work has been exhibited at several fine art galleries and shops in Ontario, Nova Scotia and PEI. Collectors in Ontario, South Carolina, and New York have commissioned her work.  In 2008 she received a Nova Scotia Tourism Culture & Heritage – Creation Grant to study and create water fountains.  In 2012, the Nova Scotia Art Bank Purchase Program, purchased “Octopus Invasion.”


Mary Jane has traveled around the world for the past 10 years taking cues from various cultures and periods in ceramics history.  She currently teaches children with the PAINTS (professional artist into the schools) program as well as yoga and clay workshops that focus on well-being for women at her home studio – Crescent Clay Studio in East Dover, Nova Scotia.