Joy Brown

Sitter Holding Another

South Kent, CT
Handbuilt clay, anagama fired

"I was trained as a potter in a traditional pottery apprenticeship in Japan. Alongside the functional work, I made handbuilt forms. For about 40 years my work has evolved from abstract organic forms, to animal forms to now the human form. I have always worked with clay and wood firing. I built an anagama kiln—a 30-foot long wood-firing tunnel kiln, similar to the one I had worked with in Japan. We fire the unglazed work in a week-long firing to get the beautiful earth tones and layers of ash. These figures often reflect and parallel what is going on in my life. This piece was made about six years after my son was born and is about intimacy and hugging close. It reminds me of that cuddly warm feeling when he would relax in my lap. I love working with clay and it is a way of life for me. The discipline of clay has been a path of self-discovery and adventure. It challenges, enriches and transforms my life, taking me to places inside and outside of myself that I never could have imagined. The forms I make are a tangible reflection and expression of this evolving inner self." As a child of medical missionaries, Joy Brown lived in Japan for 18 years, moving to the U.S. to attend college. After completing a four-year traditional apprenticeship in Japan, she returned to the U.S., settling in South Kent, where she continues her career in clay. Her work has been exhibited and published widely, and is in many public as well as private collections.