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Artist: Tom Turner

Tom Turner, ILLINOIS

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Tom Turner is known for a wide range of functional forms. Of these he revisited the covered jar form perfecting a thin-walled vessel and producing hundreds. Up until 1975 Turner worked in both stoneware and porcelain glazed and salt fired.  From 1975 onward, Turner worked in porcelain which he glazed and high fired, but after 1976 did not use salt glaze but fired glazed porcelain in an old salt kiln.

 While serving in the in the US Army, he taught ceramics in the Army Special Services where his civilian supervisor introduced him to potters in the area of Columbia, South Carolina. After the Army, Turner set up the Ceramic Arts program at Clemson University College of Architecture, Department of Visual Studies.  It is here that he built a small salt glaze research kiln and also where he created his very first “Copper Red Vapor Glaze” on salt-glazed porcelain. He would continue to develop this glaze over several years. In 2005 Turner established his kiln in Marsh Hill, NC to pass on his knowledge.  He said of North Carolina, “…it is without doubt, ‘The Potter’s State.”

Turner credits two teachers as pivotal mentors and guides: his high school ceramics teacher, Joseph Corsello, who encouraged and helped him enroll at Illinois State University; and James Wozniak who mentored Turner at Illinois State University.  Of both Turner says, “…had a passion for teaching and guiding students along their own path.



1968BS Art, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois

1973MFA Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina


1969-1971United States Army Special Services, Crafts Program, Ft. Jacksonville, South Carolina

1976—Studio Potter

1971-1976Established Ceramic Arts program, Clemson University, College of Architecture, Department of Visual Studies, Clemson, South Carolina

1986Established Peachblow Pottery, Delaware County, Ohio (name later changed to Lewis Center, Ohio)

1986Visiting Artist, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois

1991Visiting Artist, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

2005—Established studio near Mars Hill, N.C.

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