I grew up between the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and the Wyoming prairie. Since earning a BFA in ceramics from Alfred University, I was an arts administrator and an arts educator before moving to northern Minnesota in 2011. I have been drawn to the arts since childhood and have maintained my own creative practices with clay for over 20 years. The launching of Wickwire Clay Works in 2013, with a focus on custom ceramic tile, allows for balancing the demands of living (i.e. earning money and covering studio overhead) and a creative lifestyle with making at the fulcrum. 


        I believe in enhancing our built environments by highlighting the human connection to the handmade.  I strive to create spaces that function as durable, safe environments sparking a positive, engaging response.  My handmade tile is for those of us who crave connection to our surroundings.  My work has the ability to transform the built environment from the rigid, inherent perfection of machined materials into a restorative, grounding environment much like a walk in the woods or time spent by a lake. Living somewhere between the tradition of using clay and heat to produce a functional building material and post-modern art, I aim to engage viewers on a conceptual level.  My work also provides an entry point for the curious viewer who wants to investigate.  I consider it crucial to question the sources (where did this come from?) and processes (how was this made?) of our surroundings; these are an important questions of our time.

Contact Melissa