Profile - Mel Cornshucker

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Mel Cornshucker - Cherokee


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Mel Cornshucker was born in Jay, Oklahoma and moved to Kansas City, Missouri at age five. Mel comes from an artistic family; his father is a jeweler and his sister is active in arts and crafts. However, a course in ceramics at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, sparked a true interest in him. Mel became an apprentice potter at Silver Dollar City, an 1880's theme park near Branson, Missouri. Mel quickly became quite accomplished and eventually became head potter in charge of production and demonstrations for the next three years. He struck out on his own in 1977 and has continued his art ever since.

Mel is a Cherokee and his heritage is evident in his designs. Many of his family are also artists, including basket weavers and rug makers. Mel's grandfather made his own loom for rug making and made rugs until he was 95 years old. He lived to be 101. Mel's son, Lincoln, is named after his grandfather, who was in turn named after Abraham Lincoln as he was born the same year that the 16th president of the United States was assassinated.

Mel is a diversified potter and his works include wheel thrown and hand-built stoneware, porcelain, sandblasted porcelain, raku and wood fired pieces. His pieces are functional, aesthetic or both. The pottery of Mel Cornshucker has been exhibited in several museums and galleries such as The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona and the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has won numerous awards and is widely sought in international collections. Included among his collectors are heads of state in Japan and the New Guinea Ambassador to the United States.

Mel, his wife, Michelle, and their children, Morgan and Lincoln live in Missouri where he maintains his studio. Mel also teaches and features his work in his own studio/gallery in Oklahoma.


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