Melissa grew up in a family of artists: her mother is a print-maker and her grandmother was a sculptor. These two women were her first art teachers. In college, Melissa studied painting and print-making at Wesleyan University. In 1999, she received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study mask-making techniques and traditions internationally. Her experience making masks fostered an interest in creating objects that people could interact with. Making mobiles sprang from this interest. Mobiles have a unique capacity to change the ambience of a room, creating balance and harmony. Their shape and movement change when people touch them and blow on them. Melissa enjoys observing how people interact with mobiles and hopes to continue making sculptures that people can both look at and play with.