Alice Corning was born Alice Marks in Cincinnati Ohio in 1943. She attended Walnut Hills High School, a public college preparatory high school. She spent half of her junior year in France as an American Field Service exchange student. Upon graduation she attended Radcliffe College where she majored in English literature, at the same time focusing on the fine arts and creative writing.
She married Henry Corning in 1964 and, influenced by the Vietnam war, they left the United States to live in Paris, France. They continued their journey through Switzerland and Greece, finally returning to the United States in 1965 with their son Paul. Travel in Europe had sharpened her understanding of the vital importance of art in the development of human culture. Settling first in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then in New York City, they came to love the artistic world that was emerging in Soho, Manhattan. It was in Soho that Alice took her first ceramic classes, at a small studio called the Spring Street Studio. She continued to work there for four years, during which time she and Henry had two daughters, Marlis and Alison. New York, with its very rich cultural legacy, and the extraordinary mix of peoples, was truly the artistic springboard for the years to come.
In 1974 the family moved to Mill Valley, California and Alice established her own studio at their home. There she was able to benefit from the rich clay traditions of the West Coast and studied with potters such as Karen Karnes, Toshiko Takaezu and William Daley.
Her studio world is a richly introspective one where she can integrate the traditional forms of ancient cultures with those of her imagination.
Her work focuses primarily on form, whether functional or sculptural. Some of the sculptural series she has developed are: slab-constructed triangular vessels, ceremonial in essence; geometric forms that can be divided, and an ongoing exploration of the human figure, expressed abstractly or organically.
In 2007, she was honored to have one of her figures, made in clay, then cast in bronze, selected as the prize in perpetuity for the Mill Valley Film Festival.
In 2008 she created a prize, once again made in clay, then cast in bronze, For the 40th anniversary of The Leakey Foundation, on whose board she serves.
She feels honored most of all by the many people who have collected her work over the years. She thinks of her pieces as “good soldiers “ going out into the world to spread the word of the importance of handmade ceramics in our lives.
Alice continues to live and create in her Mill Valley, California studio.