Melissa Turner


In making art, as in any language, we strive to find a way to understand our environment
and to connect through our experience. Interpretation becomes the focus of an idea.
Through inquiry, a series of conflicts arise and choices are made that dictate formal results. Resolution is difficult when endless other options lie as unused raw material.
I do not set out to produce a particular piece. It is from within the ongoing process of examination that the art object truly emerges. It is the rare and exquisite result of an intense interaction with one’s deepest interests.

Most recently I have been pursuing ideas about proximity and influence. Mine are varied ideas involving abstraction and identification. I wonder about how things can be distilled, or brought to their most basic, even minimal, form while remaining intimately and evocatively identifiable, not so much as objects, but as visceral images, recognizable in everything that is.

I choose to use clay because of its softness and versatility. Malleable in its wet stage, accommodating to the human hand, and instantly responsive to the slightest impression, it is uniquely suited for tactile manipulation. Once fired, it has the strength and integrity of stone.


1996 MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
1982 BFA New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY
1978-80 New England College, Henniker, NH


2007-2008 New Hampshire Institute of Arts Ceramics Studies
2002-2006 Sanctuary Arts Eliot, ME Figure Drawing and Sculpture Studies
2000-2002 New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH Figure Drawing Studies
1987 School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1983 Omaha Brickworks Workshop, Omaha, NE
1979 Somerset County College, Somerville, NJ


2002-2006 Sanctuary Arts, Eliot, ME
Adjunct Faculty
Ceramic Handbuilding Classes

1996-1997 Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
Ceramic Studio Manager

1996 Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI
Adjunct Faculty, Ceramics Dept.

1984- 2011 mturnerclayart, Newmarket, NH
Private studio, fully equipped: gas, electric, soda kilns
Private or group lessons ongoing


2006 Spotlight on The Arts – Best Sculptor Award


NH Art Association Juried Exhibition – Currier Museum of Art - 2011
NH Art Association New Member’s Exhibition – 2011