Melissa Mencini received her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2003 and her BFA from Bowling Green State University in 2000. In 2013, Melissa moved to Austin Texas to be a full-time studio artist and educator. Previous to her move south, she was living in Anchorage Alaska teaching ceramics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Before her time in the extra cold north, she moved back and forth between Montana and Washington State working as a studio artist and teaching at both Eastern Washington University and at the University of Washington in Seattle. During her first stay in Montana, Melissa was a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena for two years and was the recipient of the Lincoln Fellowship for one year. Melissa became interested in art at an early age and her interests were fostered by taking art classes at a local art center in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.