She began creating dragons and selling them at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in 1981.
Melissa Hogenson will be the “Featured Artist of the Month” for May. The Lake Area Fine Art Academy & Galleria will host an Open House (Meet & Greet the Artist) in her honor May 11th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.
Melissa Hogenson, Ceramic Sculptor, was born and raised on a farm near the New Cambria, Mo. New Cambria was originally settled by the Welsh, and she is half Welsh. She attributes her fascination with dragons to her Welsh blood.
Melissa studied Art at Northwest Missouri State University (now Truman University) in Kirksville, Mo. She received her BS Degree in Art Education in 1975 and a MA in Art Education in 1979. Ceramics was always her favorite medium, but she didn’t think she could make a living at it. But, after teaching art five years in Callao and Bucklin, she resigned from teaching and started raising her family and making ceramics.
Melissa began simply selling her ceramics at weekend fairs in Iowa and Missouri. She began creating dragons and selling them at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in 1981. Her forms begin mainly by first throwing the clay on the wheel, but then she sculpts with stoneware clay, porcelain and red clay. Every piece is handmade- no mold & no assistants. The pieces are dried slowly, and bisque fired before the glazing and staining process. Jim is in charge of this process. They are fired in an electric kiln to about 2200 degrees. They are very durable and should last centuries.
Melissa’s creatures reflect my personality and my interests. The dragons can breathe fire (oil lamps) and smoke (incense burners), live in castles. The wizards resemble my husband, Jim, and are the caretakers for the dragons. Melissa has created her own little world out of her imagination and her art is for the young at heart.
Melissa and her husband have been making and selling her work since 1980. Jim became full time in 1997. They produce about 3000 dragons per year, so there are well over 100,000 Hogenson dragons in the world.