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© Andrian Melka
Tracing Venice

Andrian Melka

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust - QESTStone sculptor

Andrian Melka began studying art and sculpture at the age of ten, graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, Albania, in 1994. He moved to England during the Albanian Civil War in 1997, with a Getty scholarship, and spent a year at the Building Crafts College in London where he was awarded the City & Guilds Silver Medal for Excellence. Later, Andrian moved to York to work as Head Sculptor for renowned carver Dick Reid, working on high-profile commissions including the Jubilee Fountain commemorating The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. In 2003 Andrian opened his own studio, taking on a range of commissions in the UK and America. He became a QEST scholar in 2008, winning the QEST Award for Excellence in 2020, and is a member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors and the Art Workers' Guild.


Andrian is best known for his figurative work in marble and stone and for his freestyle approach to carving. He honed his skills in Albania carving portraits and reliefs in a marble workshop, where he also developed an interest in classical and Renaissance sculpture. Andrian prefers to work directly in stone, without the need for a full-sized model, in the same way Michelangelo would have done. He uses a drawing of the frontal view of the figure as a template, then, working by eye, finds his way into the stone. Since 2018 Andrian has returned to modelling in clay, making more work in bronze and experimenting with patination techniques. His first over-life-sized bronze figure, of Captain Sir Tom Moore, was exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park to great acclaim.

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