“Integrating the way I experience the world with the way I design and create functional pottery is essential to my creativity. Whether rinsing garden tomatoes at the kitchen sink, or pausing to study wildflowers along the trail, I believe in taking time to notice the little details of life. I am just as awed by the way a leaf connects to its stem, as I am the folds of a mountain range or bursts of clouds at sunset. I always view these things with an eye toward conserving and celebrating the environment that I live in. My work bears the mark of these values, resulting in uniquely designed pottery that is just as inviting to ponder and touch as it is to use and share.” -Joy Tanner
CLAY | Functional ceramics
Penland Affiliation | Penland Instructor 2018, Penland Studio Assistant 2006, 2010, 2011
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: BFA University of Tennessee Chattanooga (TN); residencies: Energy XChange (NC), Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (ME), Odyssey Clay Center (NC); exhibitions: Cedar Creek Gallery (NC), Spruce Pine Potters Market (NC), Potters Market Invitational, Mint Museum (NC), Companion Gallery (TN), In Tandem Gallery (NC)
Artist Bio | Joy’s childhood was spent in eastern Tennessee, full of music and exploring the natural world. She discovered her love for ceramics in 2000 during her college years and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Following college, Joy was a resident artist at the Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts in Asheville, NC, and in 2007 established her studio near Penland in Bakersville, NC. She has participated in residencies at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME, and at the EnergyXChange in Burnsville, NC. In 2013, she and her husband William Baker, (also a potter) established their own joint studio, Wood Song Pottery in Bakersville, NC where they live and work with their two children.
Artist Statement | I am just as interested in the way a leaf connects to its stem as I am in the folds of a mountain range or bursts of color at sunrise. I view these things with a mindful eye for the present moment. My work bears the mark of this awareness, resulting in uniquely designed pottery that is just as inviting to ponder and touch as it is to use and share.
While I pay equal attention to form, surface, and detail, my pottery is most celebrated for its carved patterns inspired by nature. These patterns accrue a rhythm all their own as they swirl and drape across surfaces, suggesting spider webs, ripples in a stream, or water patterns in sand. Firing my stoneware forms in a soda kiln or a wood kiln yields an ever-changing palette of natural variations of color. Cradling a cup or bowl in their hands, people feel inspired to bring a sense of awareness and ritual into their lives. Integrating the way I experience the world with the way I design my pottery is essential to my creativity. Whether rinsing garden tomatoes at the kitchen sink, or pausing to study wildflowers along the trail, I believe in taking time to notice the little details of life.
Technical Information | Soda-fired stoneware and porcelain