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Helen Monro Turner


1901 - 1977

Influential glass-engraver and illustrator. Born in Calcutta, Turner was raised in Edinburgh. She was educated at George Watson's Ladies College, the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art, where she studied wood-engraving. In 1938 she was awarded a fellowship which allowed her to study glass-engraving in Stuttgart (Germany). Returning to Scotland, she illustrated several books for Thomas Nelson & Sons and designed catalogues and advertisements for the Edinburgh & Leith Flint Glass Company. She went on to establish the Department of Glass Design at Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, the same year she married glass technologist Professor William E.S. Turner (1881 - 1963), wearing an unusual wedding dress, hat, handbag and shoes which had been made of glass-fibre in Glasgow. Her department gained a reputation as one of the most influential in Britain. Turner was an inspirational teacher and remained as head of department until her retirement in 1970.

She died in Edinburgh. Examples of her work can be seen in the Turner Museum of Glass at the University of Sheffield.


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