Our love for art goes beyond the stoneware mugs we make. We have a team full of painters, designers, woodworkers and more who love to express their artistic talents, both at Sunset Hill Stoneware and beyond. Such is also the case for Melissa Scott. Melissa is one of Sunset Hill Stoneware’s account specialists who has worked with our sales team for nearly a year.

Stoneware’s Selling Points

According to Melissa, being in sales at Sunset Hill Stoneware is different from selling other products. It allows her to help our customers make their customers happy. Beyond that, it’s a step up from the typical sales position where you would find someone selling subscriptions, insurance or other intangible things. It also challenges her creativity more.

“You have to have enough creativity to be able to understand the glazes, understand the mug styles, understand which glazes look good with different medallions,” Melissa said. “All of those incorporate into a more creative sales position.”

Some of the companies and groups Melissa works with include everything from coffee roasters like Bully Brew Coffee Company to massive beer companies like Samuel Adams. Because of this, she also has to be aware of each company’s evolving tastes. After all, a family-owned gift shop might have a different vibe for their brand from a brewery with a punk rock edge.

Melissa has also familiarized herself with the over 70 different glaze colors we offer. Her favorites include glazes like Root Beer and Root Beer Float. Both of these glazes have hidden depths to them depending on the how the light hits them. She also likes the red and earthy green depths of Cranberry Bog.

“I really like the glazes that have a lot of mottling in them,” Melissa said. Some of our speckled patterns include Tigers Eye, Silvery Night and Royal Green.

Outside of selling the mugs, Melissa’s charismatic personality has made her a great model on our Facebook page. You may have seen her in some of the videos in our Ask SHS series or in shorter videos for different social holidays, such as National Banana Split Day in the summer.

Acrylic Painting

Melissa has been painting most of her life, having learned from her mom’s hobby of painting ceramic figurines. Although Melissa has dabbled in oil painting, her favorite medium to use is acrylics.

These days, it’s become a hobby that helps her relax and express herself.

One reason why Melissa likes acrylic painting is because it’s forgiving. While not necessarily an easy art form, you can correct mistakes through different techniques. Plus, if you feel like you can’t save your painting after a few too many mistakes, you can just as easily whitewash your canvas and start over. However, you can also make a mistake earlier in the process and watch.

“It’s easy to create something out of a mistake you made,” Melissa said. “As Bob Ross put it, there’s happy little mistakes.”

Melissa’s favorite subjects are floral and landscape paintings. She has a few of these paintings on display amid the stoneware mugs and steins in her office, including a lemon patterned piece and a beautifully shaded painting of a sunflower.

Most of the work she does is either freelance, given as gifts to her friends and family or to brighten up her office space. However, one of the personal projects she’s been doing for herself is a butterfly portrait that she still has in progress. However, she tends to act more on instinct when she’s putting brush to canvas.

“I never really plan things out. I decide that I’m going to start painting, and then I do it,” Melissa explained. “Most of what I do involves gaining inspiration from different things I’ve seen online or different art museums that I’ve gone to, and then incorporating my creativity into those pieces.”

Hand Lettering and Calligraphy

Outside of acrylic painting, Melissa also does pen work, including hand lettering and calligraphy. Like many other people who practice calligraphy, she likes to write quotes that stand out or inspire her. She also has multiple types of pens she experiments with while she’s lettering.

“It’s fun to be able to use different mediums as far as the types of pens that I use,” she said.

One type of pen in her arsenal that stands out is the collection of quill pens she has. Every year, Melissa’s husband gives her a new quill pen for Christmas, so she now has five that she uses for hand lettering. Although they’re a traditional writing tool that scholars have used for centuries, she noted that quill pens can be tricky to use.

“I need a lot of practice with it,” Melissa said. “I don’t do it often, because it is very difficult to understand when I’m starting to run out without seeing that I’m starting to run out.”

Dipping quill pens is a time-consuming process. It also requires Melissa to watch how the quill feels in her hand and the flow of the ink. Otherwise, if she runs out of ink while she’s writing, there will be breaks in the letters. Once she starts to feel the pen scratching against the paper, that’s a sign she’s running out. Ultimately though, figuring this out is a process of trial and error with beautiful results.

In the time she has been with us, Melissa has brought an artistic eye and a sunny personality to our sales crew. Sunset Hill Stoneware is proud to have her on our sales team, and we know we can leave it to her to help you choose the best color and style combination for your stoneware mugs.

Meet Sunset Hill Stoneware's Artisans