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Mel Jacobson

Biography to Display: 

1934 Born Minneapolis, Minnesota


Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota

1958 Art Education, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

1961 MA University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota


1958-1992Ceramic/Art Teacher, Hopkins Schools, Hopkins, Minnesota

Adjunct Professor of Art, University of Wisconsin System, Madison, Wisconsin

Director and Founder, Hay Creek Studios, Wisconsin

2000-2003Board of Directors, The Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Wayzata, Minnesota

Studio Potter, Minnetonka, Minnesota


1970sApprentice to Kunio Uchida, Kyoto, Japan


Mel Jacobson is known for functional wheel-thrown functional stoneware traditional forms, influenced by the Japanese aesthetic. Jacobson fires a 45 cubic foot "Minnesota Flat Top" kiln.

Jacobson has exhibited nationally and internationally and has taught workshops across the United States. He established Hay Creek Studio Camp for professional artists and teachers to gather in Wisconsin. Started in 1996 by Joe Molinaro and Richard Burkett, Jacobson took over as moderator of CLAYART, an email forum for discussion of issues relating to ceramics. CLAYART now exists in archive on the website Potters.Org, run by the American Ceramics Society.

Jacobson, an educator, who has been recognized as an outstanding ceramic educator by both New York University and Studio Potter Magazine. Jacobson has written about modern kiln construction, ceramic techniques and technology, and Japanese pottery methods.

An interview with Mel Jacobson conducted March 2006, by Arnold Howard of Paragon Industries is available at:


Bibliography to Display: 

Jacobson, Mel. 21st Century Kilns. Greatapes Corporation,2010.

Jacobson, Mel. “Beyond Basics: Using Your Legs.” Pottery Making Illustrated (November/ December 2004).

Jacobson, Mel. “Black Shino.” Ceramics Monthly (December 2000).

Jacobson, Mel. “Calligraphic Glazing: A Collaboration.” Clay Times (November/December 2000).

Jacobson, Mel. “Caufield Pottery.” Ceramics Monthly (April 2002).

Jacobson, Mel. “Look into Others and into Yourself.” Ceramics Monthly (December 1997).

Jacobson, Mel. “Oxygen Probes.” Pottery Making Illustrated (Spring 1999).

Jacobson, Mel. Pottery: A Life, a Lifetime. Westerville, OH: American Ceramic Society, 2004.

Jacobson, Mel. “Salt and Refractory Coatings.” Ceramics Monthly (December 1998).

Jacboson, Mel. “Shells of Porcelain: Work of Andy Kazukewicz”. Clay Times (May/ June 1999).

Jacobson, Mel. “Small Reduction Kilns for Home Potters.” Clay Times (September/October 1997).

Jacobson, Mel, “Spare Parts: Sanders.” Pottery Making Illustrated (January/ February 2005).

Jacobson, Mel. “Susan Karrasch.” Ceramics Monthly (December 1999).

Jacobson, Mel. “The Japanese Technique of Hump Throwing.” Pottery Making Illustrated (Fall 2000).

Jacobson, Mel. “Throwing a Basic Bowl.” Pottery Making Illustrated (November/ December 2004).

Jacobson, Mel. “Volcanic Ash Glazes.” Clay Times (November/ December 1996).

Jacobson, Mel and Kurt Wild. “Beyond the Basics: Building a Small Flat-Top Kiln.” Pottery Making Illustrated (March/ April 2005).

Turner, Anderson, ed. Electric Firing. Westerville, OH: American Ceramic Society, 2008.

Turner, Anderson, ed. Glazes and Glazing. Westerville, OH: American Ceramic Society, 2008.


Instructional videos with Mel Jacobson filmed in 2014, and assembled by Paragon Industries is available at:



Typical Marks

In the early 1970s, Jacobson was an apprentice to master potter, Kunio Uchida in Tokyo, Japan for 18 months. During his apprenticeship he started using his rosewood stamp to mark his initials on his pots.


Form: Bowl
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist
Tea Bowl
Form: Tea Bowl
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist
Form: Teapot
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist

Citation: Herrera, Carolyn E.. "The Marks Project." Last modified August 30, 2018.